Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an official proclamation dedicating Sept. 25, 2020, as “Disabled American Veterans Day” in honor of the national charity’s centennial anniversary.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) was founded 100 years ago as The Disabled American Veterans of the World War by former Cincinnati Judge Robert S. Marx in 1920. Marx, himself a disabled U.S. Army captain who received the Distinguished Service Cross during the First World War, recognized that the nation was ill-equipped to provide the medical care and services the more than 200,000 injured and ill returning war veterans needed—and had earned.
“We had a common experience which bound us together,” said Marx about the founding of the organization in 1920. “We are out to continue through an organization of our own…an organization of us, by us and for us.”
DAV was chartered by an Act of Congress on June 17, 1932, and has since filed more than 11.5 million claims for benefits and currently represents more than one million veterans today as power of attorney. Since its founding, DAV has stood as an organization of veterans serving veterans as they make the critical transition from military service to civilian life, providing an array of no-cost services to the men and women who served and their families.
Marking a century of service and support with more than 1 million members nationwide, DAV continues the fight to ensure veterans have timely access to physical and mental health care; disability, education and other Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits; quality employment opportunities; transportation to medical appointments; and enriching local volunteer programs. DAV is a leader in advocating for veterans and their families on Capitol Hill, working to improve VA programs and services, bolster veterans suicide prevention efforts and equalize care for women and underserved veterans.
“We want to thank Governor Northam and the legislature for recognizing this important milestone in our organization’s expansive history,” said DAV Department of Virginia Adjutant Shane Liermann. “Veterans need our help today, as much as they did 100 years ago. They have earned the right to participate in the American Dream they helped to defend, and we will continue our work to help make that promise possible well into the future. To have the governor’s full support as we embark on another century of service to the men and women who served means a great deal to disabled veterans in Virginia and across the nation.”