They gave more than expected; now they keep on giving

Story and photo by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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The giving keeps on coming -- Members of the Disabled American Veterans bringing a load of bicycles to Operation Military Cheer. Pictured are Cindy Culver, Ken Jones, Capt. Bryan Combs, Don Sheckels, DAV Commander Danny Jones, Brenda Jones and DAV Auxiliary Commander Jeanne Sheckels.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — To paraphrase the song, all gave some, some gave all … and still others keep on giving.

The Disabled American Veterans is a unique organization. For instance, did you know that the DAV The DAV was founded in 1920 by disabled veterans returning from World War I?  And that the DAV was chartered by Congress in 1932 as the official voice of the nation’s wartime disabled veterans?

Today the DAV represents more than 1.2 million disabled veterans and their families.  Their relevance in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is just as powerful as it was following “the war to end all wars.”

“We are here to support our returning troops,” said Jeanne Sheckles, DAV Lexington Chapter #1 Auxiliary Commander.  “That’s what we love to do.  If anyone has issues with their claims or need information on filing claims for potential disabilities we have national service officers available to help them.”

Sheckles was part of a DAV team visiting the Family Assistance Center at Boone National Guard Center, dropping off bicycles and toys for Operation Military Cheer, the Kentucky National Guard Family Programs annual toy drive.  It’s a holiday ritual the DAV has supported for many years.

“This is a good way to give back to the National Guard families that have been serving in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past several years,” said Sheckels.  “We know what a strain these deployments can be on families, and the downturn of the economy has put an even stronger burden on the families.  This is how we give back to our troops and show them that we support them and the mission they do for us all.”

The DAV also offers services to military spouses, parents and children of service members who need help.

“Sometimes our veterans need a little ‘poke’ to get their claims filed.  We’re happy to help them get motivated.”

Sheckles said returning female Service Members are a concern for her.  “If any females veterans need assistance and aren’t comfortable talking with our male veterans, I’m ready to help them out.”

Next January the DAV is opening an information office in Lexington that will be open five days a week.   Scheckels said help isn’t limited to office hours, however.

“We’re available 24/7 if our veterans need us,” she said.

To contact the Lexington DAV Chapter #1 call 859-221-5305 or the Auxiliary at 859-333-8576.

Click here to reach the Lexington Chapter #1 DAV website.

Click here for general information on the DAV.

Click here to find a DAV chapter near you.

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