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Commitment to new disabled veterans.

Since the beginning of our organization, DAV has been dedicated to our mission of service--to build better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. We have steadfastly followed this singular purpose as each successive war has come and gone.

The World War II veterans were helped by the service of our World War I veterans, or "oneies" as they were called. The World War II veterans helped the Korean War and Vietnam veterans, and so goes our history for 85 years.

Today, we are lending our assistance and expertise to the newest generation of disabled veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other fields of combat in the war on terrorism. Our outstanding National Service Officers (NSOs) and Transition Service Officers (TSOs) are working on their behalf in military hospitals and at military separation sites all across the country.

These dedicated professionals are ensuring their records are complete and detailed before they leave active duty, and then pursue any claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs. From hospital bedside to leaving the base for the last time, the DAV is offering our expert assistance to every returning service member.

But there's more that we need to do to help this new generation of disabled veterans. They need jobs and ways to get jobs. Our Mid-Winter Conference Service Seminar focused on better ways to provide valuable information on key veterans' issues.

The seminar looked primarily at the transition assistance service available to those leaving military service and returning to civilian life. These programs have become particularly important during the current war. Thousands of active duty members, along with those in the Reserves and National guard, will need assistance when they separate from military service.

The DAV is working closely with VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service and the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS). Areas of joint cooperation include the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employer Service, which offers vocational educational counseling to veterans and certain dependents as part of VA's educational benefit program. The VA's Employment Resources office provides a variety of services for veterans looking for suitable jobs.

The VETS program was established to provide resources and services for veterans to succeed in the workforce by maximizing their employment opportunities. The program protects their employment rights and helps meet labor market demands with qualified veterans.

Representatives from VETS and the VA have various programs designed to help newly discharged service members get the information they need. The programs include the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP), Recovery and Employment Assistance Lifelines (REALifelines) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

The National Service Department has played a key role in the TAP and DTAP programs since they were established to meet the needs of separating service members. The programs offer job-search assistance and related services.

The REALifelines advisors provide veterans and transitioning service members wounded and injured as a result of the war on terrorism, and their family members, with the resources they need to successfully transition to a rewarding civilian career. USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of Reserve units.

It is our goal to ensure those now serving will have the programs and opportunities available to them to seamlessly transition from service life to civilian employment, even if they are affected by service-connected disabilities.

Our mission is clear. We must provide this newest generation of disabled veterans with our top-notch service expertise to build better lives. The National Service Department is committed to this goal. Our service to these young men and women who have sacrificed so much is what the DAV is about--delivering our best and the best programs needed by our newest group of disabled veterans.
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Title Annotation:DIRECTOR'S COMMENTARY; employment
Author:Reese, Edward R.
Publication:DAV Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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