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Disabled American Veterans

Department of Florida

Newsletter
By Al Linden
Executive Director


As of January 35, 2015 our membership was 59,810.
The goal for life membership goal is 692 more life members.




Commander Andy Marshall Message

I was reading through Department of Florida’s programs we support and do throughout the year and was reminded how great an organization we belong to, Disabled American Veterans.

We have 50 highly trained and professional Department Service Officers (DSO) in VA Medical Centers and Clinics all across Florida. Last year the DSO’s helped over 19,000 veterans and their families free of charge. Veterans do not need to be members of the DAV to take advantage of the free services of the DAV’s veterans experts. These DSO’s work hand in hand with our National Service Officers (NSO) located in St Petersburg. We also have 150 trained volunteer Chapter Service Officers available in local Florida communities to serve veterans.

Our DAV Transportation Network has 54 DAV vans throughout the state and transported over 46,000 veterans to medical appointments to and from VA Hospitals and clinics on a daily basis, free of charge. Volunteer drivers drove over 1,184,000 (that’s million) miles and logged over 78,000 hours last year.

Voluntary Services VAVS is made up of DAV and DAV Auxiliary members who this year alone will spent over 110,000 voluntary hours working with veterans. Nationwide over 2 million hours were given in humanitarian service to our veterans.

Also I would like to thank all who attended my testimonial. I am very proud to be the State Commander in the Disabled American Veterans, Department of Florida which has over 200 Nation, Department and Chapter Service officers. It was the largest service officer class the Department ever. Over 170 chapter service officers attended.



2015 National DAV Mid-Winter Conference

February 22-25, 2015 Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
Telephone: 703.920.3230
Toll free: 1.800.266.9432
Mention group name “Disabled American Veterans”
Rate: $190 single/double occupancy
Reserve Online.




Also be reminded that Chapter Annual Financial Reports are due by September 30 each year.

Chapter Officers Reports are due within 10 days after installation each year or when changes are made.

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BALANCE SHEET
As of October 30, 2014
TOTAL ASSETS $1,350,862
TOTAL LIABILITIES $80,561


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TOTAL LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES $1,350,8621
FUND BALANCES
Bay Pines VAVS $100
Gainesville VAVS 0
Tampa VAVS $0
Lake City VAVS $333
WPB VAVS $0
MiamiVAVS $200
Orlando VAVS $0
Eglin CBOC $0




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BOOKS: VERY FEW CHAPTERS ARE TAKING ADVANTANGE OF THE LEE GREENWOOD GIFT BOOK "GOD BLESS THE USA".
WHAT AN EASY WAY FOR YOUR CHAPTER TO MAKE MONEY.
YOU MUST HAVE BOOKS ON HAND AT YOUR CHAPTER, AND USE THEM EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A FUNCTION AT YOUR CHAPTER OR COMMUNITY.
THE BOOKS WILL SELL IF YOU PRESENT. BOOKS COST YOUR CHAPTER $1.50 AND CAN EASILY BE SOLD FOR $5.00.
100 BOOKS SOLD WILL NET YOUR CHAPTER $350.00. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OR PAY 10%.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME AT , or 352-250-4743. I ALSO HAVE ABOUT 600 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY, SAME DEAL.



MEMBERSHIP


MEMBERSHIP in the Department of Florida is lagging behind last year. We are in the final stretch, and it is time for ALL CHAPTERS, to step up their efforts. The backbone of any organization is membership. We will soon go to Washington, D.C, to testify before the Joint Session of The Veterans Affairs Committee and Congress, and they listen to our goals because of the size of our membership, which is 1.2 million strong. Your chapter needs to be counted. You were elected as an officer of your chapter, and membership is your number one objective. You can see in the bulletin how many more new members you need, so have a meeting and form a plan to meet your goal. If you need help, please call me, 352-250-4743 or email . I stated at the mid-winter conference, ways to increase your membership. The number one recruitment goal is the membership letter. Mail 200 letters a month and you will obtain your goal by the end of your term, and will be recognized with your peers at The Department Convention. Good luck and Happy New Year



SUBJECT: Anthony L. Baskerville, National Membership Director


DATE: December 4, 2014
It is with mixed emotions that we greet news that Anthony Baskerville, a tenured employee and National Director of Membership, has announced his retirement effective June 1, 2015. We wish Tony the very best as he closes a remarkable career that will have spanned four decades.

He leaves on a very high note. While other established veterans service organizations have been on a gradual decline in terms of members for many years, DAV has maintained and grown under his leadership. Mr. Baskerville has made a concerted effort to ensure the integrity of DAV’s roles and implemented new ways of reaching veterans. In 2012, DAV achieved an historical first with all DAV Departments reaching recruiting goals. Last year, all Departments again exceeded recruiting goals.

A disabled Marine veteran of the Vietnam War era, Mr. Baskerville began his DAV career on the National Service staff in 1975, working as an NSO in his hometown of Baltimore. The next year, he was transferred to the Washington, D.C., VA Regional Office where he served as an NSO and DAV Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program Coordinator. In 1985, he was appointed Assistant Supervisor of the National Service Office in Houston, Texas, where he served until 1993, when he returned to Washington with an appointment as Assistant National Service Director at National Service and Legislative Headquarters. There, he was appointed Deputy National Service Director for Employment in 1998.

Three years later, he was appointed Deputy Director of Human Resources and transferred to National Headquarters in Cold Spring. In April 2005, he was appointed Deputy National Membership Director. In August that year, he was appointed to his current post.

Mr. Baskerville served on the Subcommittee on Disabled Veterans for the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and is the recipient of the 2008 NAACP Jesse Brown Distinguished Leadership Award. We will miss his experience and leadership tremendously, but we wish he and his wife, Trudy, their daughter and grandson the very best as he enjoys a well-earned retirement.
J. MARC BURGESS
National Adjutant



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Florida Membersip
January 31, 2015

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ibid: G - met or surpassed goal

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Florida Legislation
January 31, 2015


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VA Announces Single Regional Framework under MyVA Initiative
Internal Organizations to Realign Their Existing Structures


Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into a single regional framework to enhance internal coordination.

“We want every Veteran to have a seamless, integrated, and responsive VA customer service experience every time. This regional alignment is the first step in empowering Veterans to interact with one VA – MyVA,” said Secretary Robert McDonald. “Ultimately, this reform will improve the Veteran experience by enabling Veterans to more easily navigate VA and access their earned care and benefits.”

VA’s new regional design utilizes state boundaries to divide the country into five regions. Each organization within VA will begin work to ensure their structures are aligned within this framework by the end of June 2015. Veterans are already seeing the impacts of changes made through the MyVA initiative. For example, at the suggestion of VA employees, the Department has made improvements to VA call center operations, to allow call center agents to suspend or resume certain benefit payments at the request of the Veteran, which eliminates additional steps typically required of Veterans. Also at the suggestion of employees, VA is working towards piloting improved signage in certain facilities, to make sure Veterans know where they are going and that directions are easy to follow. Additional VA efforts are currently underway to define the next steps to transform the Department into one that is more centered on the Veteran.



High School diploma

Some of our Veteran Population do not have their High School Diploma or have a GED. This can be a barrier to employment or other aspects in their lives. In 2013 the Florida Legislature passed this bill. For more information on applying for high school diploma, take the link below. To sum this up, most Honorably Discharged Veterans in Florida can now apply to have a standard High School Diploma. Please share it with the Veteran Community you come in contact with so we can get the word out about this opportunity. http://www.fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/veterans-diplomas.stml



Secretary Robert McDonald Hosts Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and
House Veterans Affairs Committees at VA Headquarters Tuesday
Members Will Receive Briefing, Attend Employee Town Hall followed by Media Avail at
11:00a.m.


The briefing and town hall meeting is for employees only; a media availability will follow at 11:00 a.m.
When: Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Where: 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington D.C. (VA Central Office) adjacent to Lafayette
Park. Arrive at the main entrance on Vermont. Please note there is no parking at this location.
Contacts: James Hutton – (202) 461-7558;
Walinda West – (202)-461-5235;
Victoria Dillon, Deputy Press Secretary;

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FROM: John H. Kleindienst, National Director of Voluntary Services

SUBJECT: VTN and VTS Programs
DATE: January 15, 2015

On December 31, 2014, Interim Under Secretary for Health, Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, emailed the attached information letter to the VHA Publications Distribution List. The subject of her letter is of the utmost importance to the Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN), as well as the VA’s Veteran Transportation Service (VTS). While I encourage you to take time to read the attachment in its entirety, there are several clarifying points I would like to highlight:
VTN provides services to ambulatory veterans.
VTS provides services to veterans that have transportation barriers, primarily visually impaired, elderly and those immobilized due to disease/disability, but also those that live in rural/highly rural areas.
VTN and VTS are meant to complement each other, not compete with each other.
VTN and VTS should be managed together in the most cost effective means possible.
VTN is always the first choice, if there are no transportation barriers, since it is the least expensive option for VHA to administer.

Since 1987, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), with support of VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) has proudly supported VTN by staffing and funding the nationwide DAV Transportation Network.
Our program is one of the country’s largest voluntary transportation programs.
It provides vehicle and volunteers throughout the country to transport ambulatory veterans to and from their appointments at VA medical facilities.

The Under Secretary’s letter is clear that if the transportation needs of ill and injured veterans are to be met effectively and efficiently it will require VTN and VTS (DAV and VA) to work together. We agree 100%.

Both of our institutions are replete with dedicated individuals that recognize the sacrifices our veterans have made and committed to ensuring they receive the care they deserve.

Again, please make sure to read the attached letter thoroughly, as it provides best practices for the coordination of the VTS and VTN programs.

I thank Under Secretary Clancy for taking the time to provide a clarification and to remind us that when the VTN and VTS work together we accomplish our mission of empowering veterans to lead high-quality and fulfilled lives.

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your dedication to the DAV Transportation Network.
I know that you will help ensure that the partnership between the VTN and VTS is a strong one, now and in the years to come.

JOHN H. KLEINDIENST
National Director of Voluntary Services



MESSAGE FROM THE VISN 8 ACTING NETWORK DIRECTOR

To: VISN 8 Management Assistance Council (MAC)/Congressional District Staff
Subject: Acting Medical Center Director Appointment

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Marjorie E. Hedstrom as the acting director of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinic, Tampa, FL.
Ms. Hedstrom has sound leadership qualities and proven experience. I am certain she will be a valuable asset to our VISN, our employees and volunteers, our health care partners, the community, and importantly, for the Veterans we are honored to serve.

She will begin her appointment February 2, 2015 for a period not to exceed 120 days.

Paul Bockelman
Acting VISN 8 Network Director



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