The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 11, 2012

Disabled American Veterans of Oklahoma fall meeting is Saturday

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The annual fall meeting of the executive committee of Disabled American Veterans of Oklahoma will be 9 a.m. Saturday at Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid.

DAV member Craig Vance said the committee is composed of DAV state elected officers and elected representatives from each of the 30 DAV chapters in the state. The committee acts as the executive body of the state DAV between annual conventions.

“The meeting has historically been held in the greater Oklahoma City area, but our local chapter invited them to come to Enid to visit this part of the state to see our rebranded city and the qualify of life investments we are making,” Vance said.

Oklahoma DAV has more than 19,000 members. Membership is open to any wartime veteran who was wounded, injured or ill during his or her military service. In addition to the DAV, Oklahoma DAV Auxiliary is holding its meeting.

Dennis Hammonds is state commander and will preside over the meeting. Northwest Oklahoma DAV Chapter 66 provides free assistance to veterans in filing for state and federal veterans benefits and free transportation to Oklahoma City VA Medical Center.

“One of our chapter’s greatest needs is volunteer drivers for our van transporting veterans to their VA medical appointments in Oklahoma City,” Vance said. “Anyone who would like to drive, provide any other assistance or needs claims assistance, please call (580) 242-3808.”

Jim Stark is commander of Chapter 66 in Enid, which has more than 400 active members, mostly residing in northwest Oklahoma. Chapter 66 is the only chapter in northwest Oklahoma. The chapter recently conducted a four-campus road trip to deliver services to Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa, Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Alva and Woodward and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Events are planned at NOC Enid and NWOSU this month and November. DAV officials are attempting to contact veterans when they leave the service or immediately afterward, Vance said.

Campuses are one of the critical points of contact that can be used to help veterans start college careers, help them with benefits and let them know there are veterans who will help them, he said.

The northwest Oklahoma chapter has taken the lead in planning this year’s veterans parade, set for 1:30 p.m.. Nov. 18. Following the parade, there will be an open house at the newly renovated Convention Hall, which was dedicated as a memorial to World War I veterans in 1921.

DAV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and receives no federal or state financial support. Their only revenue is through memberships and public donations, Vance said.