OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Disabled American Veterans mobile unit was in Oshkosh on Wednesday for outreach. The newly-elected state Commander of the DAV, who is from Oshkosh, was also on hand. And while the face of the DAV may change, the mission remains the same.
When Mike Hert from Oshkosh retired after more than 30 years of service in the US Army, he felt like something was missing.
According to Hert, "The camaraderie, the sense of mission was gone. And then, a dear mentor of mine said let's go to the DAV meeting, and all of a sudden the mission came back, the camaraderie came back."
Now, after joining the local Disabled American Veterans chapter, Hert was recently elected Commander of the Wisconsin DAV. He's the first post-9/11 veteran to hold the position.
"The way I look at it is, the World War I veterans entrusted the World War II veterans. The World War II, Korean trusted the Vietnam, and then later those generations entrusted the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, so I think that's a healthy sign of this organization," says Hert.
Each year the DAV helps hundreds of thousands of veterans. Mobile units, like the one brought to Oshkosh, are just an example of how the DAV seeks out veterans and then works to educate them on the benefits they're entitled to and how to receive them.
Chanda Allen is one of the veterans who benefited from the DAV. She says, "Me personally, I think DAV is one of the top organizations because they stay on training and they try to stay up to date as far as VA regulations and policies. And DAV has a mission, and truly DAV stands by its mission."
And as state commander, Mike Hert wants to continue that mission as more younger veterans are coming home from service.
He adds, "In the time that I'm here, it's to increase membership, to engage in community outreach, and to work with our elected officials as well and if we do a good job, my motto is 'Together forward,' and that's what we'll do."