Earlier this week over 30 members from the DAV MN return to Minnesota after another successful DAV Mid-Winter Conference. While I didn’t take time to count up members from every other Department, I feel confident saying we once again had the largest delegation of members in attendance to learn and advocate.
This was my fifth year leading a group out to DC in my role as your BPTL at the Department level, and every year I am impressed by the professionalism and passion our members bring to Washington. This year members met with staff members from all 8 U.S. Representative’s Offices, learned more about our national legislative priorities during a 2-hour briefing, heard from the VA Undersecretary for Benefits, attended a meeting with U.S. Senator Tina Smith, and met with Rep. Phillips, Emmer, and McCollum at our annual Congressional Breakfast.
The highlight of the trip was getting the opportunity to see MN’s own Stephen “Butch” Whitehead address a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. National Commander Whitehead spoke in a strong voice that now is the time to take action to help our Nation’s disabled Veterans and their survivors.
It was a lot to get done in 3 ½ days and our members stayed busy and likely returned tired. Every year I hear from our members how glad they are that they came, how much they learned, and how motivated they are to bring these lessons home. I would like to thank the Chapters that have supported their members to attend, this advocacy is our mission and we must remember that. Also, to the chapters that historically send zero participants, please start considering sending at least one member for Mid-Winter 2021. It is so important to have a mixture of voices from across Minnesota participating in our advocacy.
Thank you again to everyone who attended.
Trent C Dilks, Dept. Adjutant