Greetings from Adjutant Dilks July 2020


First, and foremost, I hope you all have a fun, and safe, 4th of July. I know this year will look different for many of you, but it is always a great time to look back on where we have been as a country and look forward to where we are going.

I have been doing something very similar for the DAV of MN the last couple of weeks as we approach the holiday. As many of you know our new year as an organization starts July 1st. That means this is the time of the year to look back on where we have been as an organization, and look forward to where we are going.

As we look back, it has been a tough year. A truly unprecedented year for our 100-year-old organization, as we have seen our Chapter’s cancel meetings, our Department Convention cancelled, our National Convention cancelled, our major fundraiser ground to a halt as the economy closed down, but the one thing that wasn’t cancelled is our mission. You cannot cancel our devotion to serve Minnesota’s disabled Veterans and their families. You will see in this newsletter articles from each of our programs highlighting what we as an organization have been doing to continue to achieve our mission, even in these unprecedented times.

As I look back, I am incredibly proud of how we have handled this pandemic, I am proud to be a member of this organization, and I am truly fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as your Adjutant.

Looking forward is the other major part of this time of year, and I am as excited as ever for where our organization is headed. We will continue to expand our services into new areas, continue to pursue new opportunities for new types of service, and continue to remain focused on our mission. The Department of Minnesota anticipates we will spend over $1 million dollars on veterans’ services in FY 20-21 alone. That is a major accomplishment, and something we can all be proud to be a part of.

There will be challenges, and the pandemic appears to be far from over, but I am confident we have built something strong enough to overcome any challenge we may face. We will remain focused on what matter most, serving our Veterans and their families.

Have a safe and joyful 4th of July,
Trent C Dilks, Adjutant

Commander’s Message July 2020

The Fourth of July is a cause for celebration. Fireworks, fairs, barbecuing with family and friends, parades, you name it. We often look forward to this day for months because of all the fun that it brings, but we must not forget why we celebrate in the first place.

We celebrate because on July 4th 1776 we declared our independence from England, as the 13 original colonies, and started what we know today as the United States of America.  So, while we celebrate in different ways with our parties, with families, friends, fireworks, and fairs remember what it truly means to be an American and to be free.

Remember our Veterans, brothers and sisters that fought for our freedom. It’s not just a three-day holiday, it is a time to give thanks to all of our Veterans now in the present and in the past.

During this pandemic the way you celebrate may be different from what you’re used to doing. There may not be fairs to gather at, a fireworks display in town, or large parties but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate America’s birthday at home. Remember to social distance yourself at least 6 feet away from other individuals not in your home, to safely and correctly light fireworks by following the proper procedures, and to stay safe.

We wish we could be celebrating with you all, but it’s important to stay safe during these hard times. Whatever way you decide to celebrate remember to wash your hands often, wear a mask when appropriate, and practice safe social distancing.

Happy 4th of July to you all, stay safe, have fun and celebrate America’s birthday.

Scott Berndt, Commander

Adjutant Update

Greetings DAV Leaders;
It is hard to believe how quickly the summer is flying by. The Commander, Senior Vice, and I recently returned from the Commanders & Adjutants training at National HQ in Cold Spring, Kentucky. This was a great opportunity to learn more about DAV from the National Staff and network with leaders from other Departments around the country.

One thing became very clear to me while visiting with Departments from around the country; what we have here in Minnesota’s DAV is special. Minnesota has a national reputation for excellence and I was approached many times from other Departments’ wanting to know our “secret”. I told them no secret, it is the amazing dedication of our members, a history of strong leaders (State and Chapter) setting a solid course, a slate of current leaders dedicated to our mission, and a dedicated staff working with a true passion for what we do.

The strength of Minnesota’s DAV will once again be on display as over 50 of our members attend DAV National Convention 2019. I look forwarded to participating in a loud cheer from our section as our own Stephen “Butch” Whitehead seeks the opportunity to become the DAV National Commander. We at the Department are very proud of Butch, and will support him as he takes this next momentous step.

There is so much to cover, but I don’t want to make this too long, so I will hit some highlights here:

  • The DAV MN has added a second vendor for our clothing program, which has helped us continue to succeed in an everchanging operating environment. Huge thank you to all of the chapters who have shown flexibility to ensure our continued success.
  • Planning for Fall Conference is well underway. Information on Conference can be found at:
  • Please submit attendees who will be at the annual Chapter Service Officer certification to [email protected] or HQ at 651-291-1212. A detailed note on training was sent to Chapter Commanders and Adjutants.
  • Department Headquarters will be staffed during National Convention; however, it will be less people so please have patience if we are a little difficult to reach by phone. Email is always good.
  • Membership goals have changed; every chapter is a minimum of 10 members. It appears likely the delegates at National Convention will vote to raise membership price starting 2020, so sign up new members now.

I am sure I am missing some items, as there is always so much going on. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Department Headquarters staff.

Quick note in closing: I had the opportunity to participate in a “live-load” in Hutchinson this week and I have to tell you, I walked away so impressed with what our membership can do. The hard work and dedication you all show in your communities is nothing short of amazing. I am proud to be a part of this organization, and grateful to have the opportunity to be your Department Adjutant.
Trent C Dilks
Department Adjutant  

Commander’s Update

I recently returned from the Commander and Adjutants training at National Headquarters in Cold Spring, Kentucky.  I was able to learn a lot of important information and discuss how different Departments operate around the country.

There were some announcements about Membership I’d like to cover.  The first one was the new goals for Chapters will be a minimum of 10 new members.  The Department Goal is 489 new members, both full-Life and partial paid members count toward this goal. Second, there is a very good possibility that the National organization is going to change the life membership to a flat rate of $300.00 starting in 2020. Nothing on this is certain, currently it is a resolution and will have to go through the committee process and a floor vote (if passes committee) at National Convention.  New members over 80 years old will still be free. 

Membership is the livelihood of your Chapter; without new members your chapter is failing.  Last fiscal year we did have a few Chapters that did not make goal. I will be talking to each Chapter Commander and Adjutant on how the Department can help them get more new members.

 I learned how much our Department has spoiled our chapters with all they do for us.  Our Department Staff is very professional and keep everything running as smoothly as possible. In my discussions, with over 15 other Departments, it became clear Minnesota’s Department staff is by far one of the strongest in the Nation. Many Departments are trying to figure out how we are so strong year, after year, and much of the credit goes to our full-time staff.

Saver’s has given the Department a change in the quota for the remainder of the year.  Adjutant Trent Dilks and Deputy Adjutant Josh Vrtacnik are working hard at adjusting the program to adapt to the ever-changing operating environment.  We have many chapters that are loading 53-foot trailers for Saver’s and our new vendor, Simple Recycling.  The Department is working diligently to find workable solutions to keep everything moving in the right direction. 

With the New Fiscal year starting the time clock for getting National Financial Report ready and turn in by September 30, 2019.  Please remember you only need to submit the final bank statement ending on June 30 to Department or National.  And please double check the math and don’t rely on Excel program for getting your numbers.

 We are conducting Chapter Service Officer training on Thursday before Fall conference.   We need to have names turned into Department to make sure there is enough material for all attendees. Hope to see you all at the Fall Conference this October in Brooklyn Park, MN.

Scott Berndt, Commander

Greetings from Commander Berndt

State Commander Scott Berndt

Greetings Comrades,

                Well with the Department Convention over, I would like to thank the Nomination Committee and the governing body of the Disabled American Veterans, Department of Minnesota for electing me as the State Commander.  I am honored to be selected; it’s been a long road for me.  I am very proud and will work hard for all the members. I would also like to congratulate my wife, Nancy, on the start of her second year as Auxiliary Commander.

The last time the Disabled American Veterans Department of Minnesota had a Husband and Wife as Commander’s was back in 1949. We will travel a lot this year visiting Veterans homes, Veterans Care Center, and Chapter and Unit’s.

                As the Commander I feel we already have a Great Staff for our Organization in place.  There are some minor changes in our largest fundraiser, our clothing program with Saver’s, I will address early in my year as Commander.  I am confident with the guidance of the Full-time staff, the Finance Committee, and Executive Committee we will take care of business. 

I truly believe, together as one team, we need to start thinking outside the box to come up with additional ideas for fundraising. If you have thoughts on some additional ways we could secure funds, please bring them forward.             

                I have two primary goals I would like the Department to achieve during my year.  My first goal is to have Department make membership goal.  My second goal is to help strengthen our Chapters and not lose any charters.  We are all one team in the state and I look forward to working together for our ultimate goal, assisting our disabled Veterans and their families.

                Any Chapter Commander or Adjutant can call me and talk about problems they might be having.  If there are problems, I want to find a solution together as a State. 

Scott Berndt, State Commander 2019-2020

Greetings from Commander Jarvis

Warm Greetings to all,

In this ever-changing world one thing remains the same: DAV’s commitment to the men and women who served. The Department of Minnesota walks that walk.

The organization is strong and healthy, focusing on legislation, transportation, outdoors, enterprise, and our foundation which reviews grant applications. You will see all this explained in detail in the articles included in this newsletter.  We can be proud of the successes in each of these areas already this year.

Since the state convention in early May I have been busy being the’ face of DAV MN ‘for many events and fundraisers. The Old Glory Run in St Joseph was a huge success as was the Foundation’s Golf Event in Apple Valley. Many hours of planning and organizing resulted in generous donations and community good will at these state events.

I attended the national commander/Adjutant orientation in June at National headquarters in Cold Spring KY. We had seminars about updates in all departments. It was good to network and share ideas with other states. There is a lot of good work being done across the country for our veterans!

Our DAV MN committees are in full swing and are always looking for new ideas and involvement. Have you heard of something another veterans group is doing or seen a veteran’s event that was successful somewhere else? Tell us about it! We encourage you to find your place in DAV and to volunteer with us.

I look forward to this year as your Commander. I will work hard and keep you updated through the newsletter and through the e-news on our website. I am excited to meet new faces as I travel around the state! Let’s make this year fun and successful by working together. I encourage you to get involved in your local chapters and come to the Fall Conference to share ideas with all of us.

Respectfully submitted,
Rick Jarvis
Commander Dept of MN


Commander Update March 2018

One more month closer to our Convention in Rochester May 3-5, if you have not made reservations please do so, let’s all work to make this one of the largest ever and please at least one or more from each Chapter, remember Executive committee has approve a free Convention to anyone from all Chapters who has not gone to a Convention in the past, since each Chapter has new members we should see every Chapter present. Go to for information on the Convention. This has been a busy month however, have not been able to achieve all our goals thanks to Mother Nature. A big thank you to each of you for your time away from your families to volunteer to help Veterans, in so many different ways from just setting and listening to all the other services you so freely give.  Also look at the fishing other events going on around the State from State outdoor program to Chapter outdoor events. Thank you for the large turnout at the Vets on the Hill Rally the biggest thus far, I am very proud of the work each of you do.

My monthly activity


1st returned from Washington DC

2nd Food to Bemidji Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)

5TH Chapter executive meeting

6th Conference call of Commander Task Force (weather made driving dangers in many areas of state)

7TH Duluth meeting with Savers

11th-12th Cities Veterans on the hill Rally.

13th Took Veteran to Fargo with our auto as our Van was in the shop

14th -15th Computer work DAV

16TH Bemidji Grand Opening of new CBOC

19TH Chapter meeting

21st Cities for Emergency Executive meeting

22nd Computer work

23th Escort Veteran to Fargo for surgery went via Bemidji DAV/VA van

28th Food to Bemidji CBOC

Drove 1,713 miles 157 hours Volunteered 17 days total

Once again thank you for the honor of being Commander this year it has been such a rewarding year to have meet so many of you and represent you at many different events. God Bless each of you and your families; may you each enjoy the spring that is sure to come.

Robert Saddoris, State Commander

Senior Vice Commander 3Q Update

The quarter started out slow due to the holiday season and New Year but soon picked up.
. Generated monthly membership reports
. Contact with membership committee
. Met with Adjutant Whitehead
. Met with Josh and had tour of operations.
Met with Annie and overview of scheduling  drops for chapters. Overview of route
Pick ups in metro area.
. Met with John on Outdoors program
. Attended Finance committee meeting
. Attended Foundation meeting
. Participant of Executive committee conference call
. Attended National Salute to Veteran
Patients program at St Cloud VA with Commander Saddoris
. Attended Winter Conference in Washington  DC

Coming events:
. March 21, V4V meeting
. April 3, Commander Task Force meeting
. April 4, Foundation meeting
. April 12, Veteran Home dinner in Luverne . April 17 Executive Committee meeting . May 3-5 State Convention

Respectfully Submitted,
Rick Jarvis
Sr Vice Commander


Commander’s Update February 2018

State Commander Corner February  2018

This has been very slow month as was January, mostly weather related had Chapter visits lined up but could not travel safely.  Have been very busy on computer and helping several Veterans on phone. Perhaps March will be milder for all of us so we can get out, recruit new members and help Veterans in need. Each of you should have gotten the membership report from our Senior Vice Rick Jarvis for February. Has had the pleasure of working with members of committees and talked many times with our State Adjutant Stephen Whitehead. Travel lowest month thus far @ 973 miles, hours well over 120. Travel in last 9 ½ months by auto 19,449 miles, hours with a guess of 1,140 hours, and at least 132 days.


1st Worked with sick veteran spent most of day on computer

5th -7th Rogers for a DAV Foundation meeting; then to cities for Commander Task Force meeting

12th-13th St Cloud for Chapter meeting

13th Picked up food and deliver it to Bemidji CBOC

14th not sure this is correct date worked on awards for Spring Convention.

18TH Talked with Adjutant Chapter 33 Marshall intended to visit but weather not safe to travel.

19th Computer all day

21st  Worked with a family member of Veteran that needed power wheel chair and lift chair with the help of Stephanie Ziemetz was able to give the son several contact #s for the needed equipment.

23th meeting with DAV/VA Bemidji van drivers to set up drivers schedule for next four months.

24th-28th Traveled to Washington DC for National Winter Legislative Conference.

Once again it is an honor to have the privilege of working for each of you; with all of your help we are indeed making a difference for Veterans around the state, may God bless each of you and your loved ones.

Robert Saddoris, State Commander

Commander Report January 2018

Very slow month, I had time to get a lot of computer work in with very little pressure. Hope you all have had a good start to 2018. It’s hard to believe Veterans on the Hill rally is almost upon us March 12th, and Mid Winter Conference February 25th, and only 3 ½ months to end of my tour. Drove 1,246 mile, spent many hours on phone calls and doing computer work. Several emails back and forth with CVSO Roseau County Marty Howes; talked to many executive committee members; good month to be home and off roads with the weather we have had. Feb will be very busy month for many of us. May God bless each of you and your family’s.

1st to Fargo to discuss DAV of Minnesota with VA Health Care Service Director, Volunteer Service Director and Assistance Director of Engineering

3rd  Food to Bemidji CBOC

7th visit sick veteran

8-9 Commander Task Force meeting St Paul

13th visit sick veteran

17th Meeting in Bemidji Reference veterans home went as member of Chapter # 7

23rd executive meeting via phone where new Chaplain Tara Schwinghammer was appointed to complete Chaplain James term do to his illness, very good meeting many things accomplished

31st new schedules and new logs placed in DAV/VA van and short visit with Beltrami County CVSO

Robert Saddoris,
State Commander DAV MN