Disabled veterans helping each other

  • By Mark Pfaffenroth, Sun contributor
  • 21 hrs ago

For a quarter of a million WWI veterans, the Roaring Twenties was not a period of sustained economic prosperity or unprecedented social experimentation. For them, life was a daily fight for survival. Deaf, blind, maimed or suffering from shell shock, they anguished. 

Our government, which had been unprepared for war, was even less prepared to care for its war wounded. So it was out of necessity that a group of Ohio disabled veterans banded together to assist their brothers in arms and the Disabled American Veterans was born. 

The DAV Mission Statement reads in part: “Made up exclusively of men and women disabled in our nation’s defense, the Disabled American Veterans is dedicated to one single purpose: building better lives for all of our nation’s disabled veterans and their families.”  

Today there are almost 1,300 DAV chapters with 1.3 million members. In Cumberland County, DAV Chapter 32 continues the tradition of helping returning veterans transition back into civilian life by linking them with services that address their physical, emotional and financial needs.  

Formed just after WWII, the chapter has almost 400 local area members making it the largest veterans group in the county. DAV Chapter 32, which is located at 486 Sparta Drive (behind Kroger) in Crossville, meets the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.  Any honorably discharged veteran with a service connected disability is eligible for membership.  

Like many DAV chapters, one of their primary missions is to provide no-cost transportation to any disabled veteran to local VA hospitals. Using volunteer drivers, the Chapter van transports disabled veterans to the Murfreesboro Veterans Hospital on Mondays and Wednesdays and to the Nashville VA Hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

Local Commander Richard Dubois estimates they transport between 25 and 35 veterans a month, but would like to serve more local veterans. You do not have to be a DAV member to use their van service.    

While the VA pays for the gas and licensing of the DAV vans, each chapter must provide its own van. Dubois stated the chapter’s current van is due to be replaced next year. As the VA does not fund the purchase of the van, the chapter will have to raise the money through donations and other fund raising activities.  

If you are interested in becoming a DAV member, would like to make a donation toward their new van or need more information on their van service please contact the Chapter DAV office at (931) 456-5475.

Veteran Notes

The US Navy’s Blue Angels will make two appearances in Tennessee this spring.  They will be preforming at the Smoky Mountain Air Show in Knoxville on April 16 and 17 and The Great Tennessee Air show in Smyrna June 4 and 5.   

The Upper Cumberland Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is meeting on Monday, March 21, at Shoney’s in Crossville. The Dutch treat luncheon begins at 11 a.m. and their special guest speaker will be Leanne Lewis from the Tennessee State Veteran’s Home in Murfreesboro.  

If you are interested in learning more about this outstanding veteran’s facility and want to attend the meeting, please contact Mark at pfaffvet13@aol.com.  

If you have any comments or veteran related activities you would like highlighted in the Veterans Corner, please contact me at pfaffvet13@aol.com

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