National Association of American Veterans, Inc. Attends The DAV Mid-Winter Conference


The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV) attends the DAV Mid-Winter Conference held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the Senate U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in the Capitol Building, Washington, DC. This year’s theme “Discussing Life Through the Lens of Women in America” focused on hearing other voices and urging continuous support for legislation that supports women especially women Veterans. Dr. JoAnn Fisher, CEO of the Women Veterans United committee, Inc. and Department Adjutant, Department of the District of Columbia, Inc. gave the welcome and presentation of guest speakers for the conference.

Senator Chis Van Hollen was the keynote speaker whose presentation titled “Women Who Lead, Women Who Served” gave supportive remarks in tribute to women Veterans who served our nation. He noted that “Maryland women served our nation long before they were permitted to served in the military, from Mary Digges Lee, who collected money and supplies to support the Revolutionary Army, to Harriet Tubman who spied for the Union in the Civil War. He also noted that the Maryland National Guard is led by the extraordinary Adjutant General Linda L. Singh and, for the first time this year, an all-women and staff.” In addition, he noted that this Congress has worked on a bipartisan basis to support our nation’s Veterans and will continue to move forward with these efforts.

Guest speakers included Dana Dillon, Assistant Chair for the AMVETS National Women Veterans Committee; Michael Hood, Prison Advocate; Georgia Eaves, Past Chair of the Women Veterans Committee, and Davis Shrank, Founder and CEO of the Empowerment Behavioral Therapeutic Services. On the Hill Planning Committee for this conference included Dr. JoAnn Fisher, Chair, On the Hill Planning Committee; George Eaves, Past Chair, DAV Maryland Women Veterans, Committee; Branda Jamison Chair, DAV DC Department of Women Veterans Committee; Liz McDowell, Chair, DAV Maryland Department of Women Veterans Committee; Sherman Gillum, AMVETS National, Chief Strategy Officer; PDC Nachee Miller, DAV DC Department, Inc.; and David Shrank, Founder and CEO of Empowerment Behavioral Therapeutic Services.

The conference was presented and sponsored by the DAV Department of Maryland, Inc.; DAV Department of the District of Columbia, Inc.; AMVETS National, and the Women Veterans United Committee, Inc.

Personal stories were presented by Veteran Dana Dillon, Assistant Chair, AMVETS National Women Committee who shared her personal experience regarding military sexual trauma while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces followed by Michael Hood a Veterans who served time in federal prison and now working to help other Veterans being released from prison. Both stressed the need for more outreach programs in the communities as well as peer-to-peer assistance for women Veterans especially those who suffer higher rates of PTSD and suicide than their civilian counterparts; those who are in prison offered overlooked or ignored; for women who suffer from infertility, domestic violence and service-related sexual trauma and are at risk of homelessness all of their critical needs must be addressed and honored by this nation to them.

DAV presented their 2019 Critical Policy Goals at the 116th Congress, First Session which are as follows:
. Strengthen Veterans Health Care – Congress must ensure that VA implements the
Mission Act as intended and fully funds both VA health care facilities and the new
Veterans Community Care Program.

. Improve Care for Women Veterans – Congress must ensure VA provides women
Veterans appropriate gender-specific health care and equitable access to the same
services and programs as male Veterans.

. Establish Benefits Based on Burn Pit Exposure – Congress should enact legislation to
concede exposure for all Veterans who served near active burn pits and provide them
with health care eligibility for related conditions.

. Enhance Survivors’ Benefits – Congress should enact legislation to increase and index
the DIC benefits, and change eligibility rules for both DIC and Chapter 35 educational

. Justice for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans – Congress should pass legislation to
codify the Circuit Court decision to ensure Blue Water Navy Veterans receive all the
benefits they earned through their service.

. Ensure a Sufficient VA Budget for FY 2020 – Congress must provide VA $130 billion in
FY 2021 advance appropriations to meet the needs of ill and injured Veterans, their
families and survivors.

Questions regarding this conference should be directed to Dr. JoAnn Fisher, Department Adjutant, Department of the District of Columbia, Inc. She can be reached at (240) 305-5516 or email:

The National Association of American Veterans, Inc. (NAAV) would like to thank the DAV and Department of Adjutant, Department of the District of Columbia, Inc. for extending an invitation to NAAV in support of those who served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces worldwide. For over 14 years, NAAV have been able to support many Veterans and their families most in need of assistance with their claims and benefits and pro bono legal assistance. In 2019, we look forward to continuing our outreach efforts through three initiatives as well as ways in which we help Veterans and their caregivers. Our website, “Get Involved” heading now includes tabs for making corporate, major and individual donations online via our website at In addition, we have included a tab under the same heading for NAAV’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) number 85065 to enhance our federal employee contributions in 2019. We look forward to continuing our mission by reaching out to more Veterans and helping those most in need and to many who are not represented yet meet the criteria established by NAAV. For more information, please contact Constance Burns, Founding President, CEO and Veterans’ Service Officer at (202) 465-3296 or email:


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