Greetings! The weather is about to turn the corner and hopefully we have a long Spring ahead of us. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. with the DAV of MN delegation to the Mid-Winter Conference. It was my first opportunity to see our organization at work on a national level and I walked away impressed.
The DAV of MN was well represented at this year’s Mid-Winter Conference with a 15 member delegation in attendance. The delegates got the opportunity to hear Sec. McDonald talk about the direction the VA is headed. He also talked about how important the DAV is as VSO partner. There were hours of seminars and informational sessions that allowed those in attendance to learn more about our national programs. The DAV of MN was also well represented as the DAV National Commander, Ronald Hope, testified before a joint session of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees.
In his testimony Commander Hope made it clear that the DAV has clear and specific goals for this Congress in regards to Veterans. These goals include improved care for our female Veterans, a Fully Developed Appeals process and a strong push to expand the VA’s support of Caregivers. These were three of the highlighted topics throughout the Conference.
After spending several days learning about the legislative priorities, the DAV of MN was able to take our message directly to the hill. We once again held a breakfast for the MN Congressional Delegation. We had an excellent turnout for the event, 7 of the 8 representatives able to attend. We were also able to meet Sen. Klobuchar in her office and several DAV of MN members were invited to have Breakfast with Sen. Franken in his office. That means in our time in D.C. we were able to get the DAV’s message to 9 out of 10 Congressional Delegates.
If you haven’t had a chance to attend a Mid-Winter Conference, I hope you will consider it for next year. We had a great showing this year and the more members we can bring the louder our message will be heard on the hill. It is important we keep moving forward with our legislative goals and we remain vigilant against attacks on the benefits Veterans have earned. I look forward to continuing to work with the DAV of MN to ensure we are seen as a leader in Veterans Legislation and as a resource by our elected representatives. As always if you have any questions, concerns or ideas you would like to share don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or 651-788-3186. YITB, Trent C Dilks