Comrades: From May when you gave me the honor of being your Commander, the time has flown by. Here it is the end of 2017 and over half of the time as Department Commander has elapsed. May seems like only yesterday, it has been so rewarding to represent you, thank you for making this year special. I have seen so many of you and looking forward to meeting even more of you before my tour is up! At this time I am setting up Chapters to go visit this month and next year. There is no question in my mind that we are one of the top DAV organizations in the USA. Between our Chapters and your Full-time staff, each one is working very hard each day to help us achieve the DAV mission by helping every Veteran or Spouse in every way possible! I also am very proud of our Chapters and what they have achieved this year by volunteering the countless hours all of you put in helping Veterans throughout our great State. What some of you may not realize, each of our full time staff also volunteer many hours (without pay) helping Veterans, Chapters, and varies State committees. We now have 23 vans on the road transporting Veterans to appointments in 4 States besides MN. My mentors, our full time staff and many PSC have stepped forward to help on all levels. Our senior vice Rick Jarvis has been doing a great job on membership; each of us knows at least one Veteran we can sign up let’s (get err’ done). Your executive, foundation, and outdoor committees has also been very busy working for us all also this year.
My November follows:
2nd – 4th: to Bemidji to purchase treats for deer hunters, than onto Bagley to present DAV picture to a donor who provided supper for hunt, then to Bemidji to purchase supper for the hunters. Thank you to Chapter # 7 for providing treats and Supper in Bemidji (hunters bagged 3 Deer). Mr. O’Shea the land owner also provided a wonderful dinner for the hunters.
5th– 6th Computer work ( the Department Adjutant likes to fill my email inbox) J
11th to Inver Grove for Veterans Day Celebration both MN Senators, 3 State Representatives, as well VA Commissioner and many other present talked with several of them.
13th Commander Task Force (CTF) meeting St Paul if you are not aware of CTF please go to web site it is made up of 8 Veteran organizations State Commanders I have the honor of being elected Chair of this committee.
28th To Fargo Stanford Hospital to visit State Chaplin Walter James. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
29th DAV State Transportation Committee provided lunch to the DAV/VA Bemidji van volunteer drivers and their wives; guest speakers Adjutant Whitehead and dispatcher Dan Woods.
30th to Fargo for donation of courtesy van to Fargo VA hospital, spearheaded by PDC Remus getting donations from several MN Chapters , DAV MN Foundation and some Chapters in ND.
Over all I traveled 1,826 miles, in November very slow relaxed month, perhaps 110 hours possibly more. As of the end of November, I have traveled 16,164 miles since May, not including trips by air to Commander/Adjutant Orientation in OH, and National Convention in New Orleans.
By the time you read this it may be Christmas thus I wish each and every member and their families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may God bless each and every one of you.
Robert Saddoris, DAV MN State Commander 2017-2018