By Tara Mogan
Each year, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) assists more than 1 million veterans and family members by helping them to access their benefits, educating communities about the needs of veterans, and serving as an advocate on Capitol Hill for America’s healing heroes.
There are 1.3 million DAV members. Eligibility includes any veteran who served during a period of war that was wounded, disabled, or left with a long-term illness as a result of military service, and was discharged or retired under honorable conditions.
The DAV helps members transition from military to civilian life with lifetime support of services to meet their physical, emotional and financial needs. That includes rides to medical appointments and mobile outreach to rural communities. DAV’s collective efforts returned more than $4 billion in benefits for wounded and disabled veterans and their families in 2015.
The DAV also guides disabled vets through the employment maze, facilitating job fairs to help them find the right match. But the DAV isn’t the only option for disabled vets. There are many.
Founded by WWII veterans with spinal cord injuries, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) focuses on medical research, veteran services, and civil rights for disabled vets.
The Veterans Benefits Department of PVA provides assistance with veteran benefits, medical care and entitlements. It is the largest department within the PVA, dedicated to assisting paralyzed veterans through a network of national service offices. It coordinates bedside visits, helps vets and families navigate the VA system, and provides legal representation to appeal denied claims. Learn more at www.pva.org, or call (800) 232-1782.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) also provides resources and free membership for veterans, families and community partners. Programs include career support, education assistance, legislative advocacy, fine arts, music, and sporting activities. Visit iava.org.