TAMPA -- The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is holding its annual convention in Tampa through Tuesday. The DAV conventioneers are meeting at the Tampa Marriott facilities downtown.
DAV is a nonprofit organization that ensures that veterans and families are able to ensure the full range of benefits available to them, as well as helping disabled veterans find meaningful employment. Assistant director of communications Todd Hunter, a Marine veteran, says DAV has more than one million members and its Florida department is one of the largest of its 52 nationwide, corresponding mostly to the 50 states.
Hunter says the DAV's employment programs for disabled vets have resulted in more than 150,000 job offers since 2014.
Among the speakers at this year's convention are Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Denis McDonough. Hunter describes the DAV's relationship with the VA as both "cheerleader and watchdog."
"VA provides amazing services and benefits to our nation's veterans, that many... are dependent upon to live a fulfilling life. But at the same time, when there are mistakes being made and we see wherer there needs to be room for improvement, we're going to be there to ride them and make sure it gets fixed."
DAV will also elect a new commander and leadership team. Commanders usually serve only one year but the current commander, Iraq War veteran Stephen "Butch" Whitehead, has served two years, since last year's convention was canceled due to COVID-19.
Many of its members are in Florida, and it's no surprise the DAV holds conventions here. Its last was in Orlando in 2019.
For more information on programs to assist disabled veterans, Here's a link to the DAV website:
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