DAV recognizes exceptional veterans advocates

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DAV (Disabled American Veterans) announced the names of seven dedicated veterans advocates being honored for their outstanding efforts and achievements on behalf of the men and women who served.

Federal executives, senators, representatives, congressional staffers and other veteran advocates are eligible for these honors, which recognize commitment and excellence in service to veterans, their families and their survivors.

“The recipients of this year’s advocacy awards have illustrated an unmatched commitment to fighting for the best interests of veterans and their families,” said DAV National Commander Andy Marshall. “Veterans are a nonpartisan issue, and these honorees worked tirelessly to ensure our nation keeps its promises to our nation’s heroes.”

Veterans Champion Award: The Honorable Jerry Moran (Kan.), U.S. Senate, for his significant contributions to improve the lives of veterans and their families for nearly 25 years in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Throughout his career, Moran has been an outspoken and reliable advocate for strengthening and protecting the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, including improving its mental health and suicide prevention programs. As ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, he has strongly advocated for legislation to modernize the VA claims and appeals process and fought to improve VA educational benefits for both veterans and their families. DAV applauds his long-standing leadership to ensure that veterans exposed to toxins from burn pits, Agent Orange and other environmental hazards receive all their earned benefits.

Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year: The Honorable Thom Tillis (N.C.), U.S. Senate, for his significant leadership and bipartisanship on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and his unflinching commitment to the men and women who served. DAV applauds Tillis’ continued efforts through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, fighting for those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, and his willingness to tackle other key toxic exposure issues through the Toxic Exposures in the American Military (TEAM) Act and the Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act. DAV also appreciates his attention to other significant issues facing veterans and their families, which include improving the VA claims and adjudication processes and access to mental health services.

Outstanding House Legislator of the Year: The Honorable Mark Takano (Calif.), U.S. House of Representatives, for his leadership and bipartisanship as well as his efforts to expand veterans benefits and health care services, particularly for women and minority veterans. Upon assuming his role as chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Takano immediately created a Women Veterans Task Force and later moved the groundbreaking Deborah Sampson Act through the committee and into law. He also led the charge and sponsored the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which was signed into law in 2019, as well as the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act of 2020 to help reduce veteran suicide. Takano has made passage of comprehensive toxic exposure legislation a priority for the 117th Congress and introduced the historic Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act to achieve that goal.

 

DAV Special Recognition Awards:

  • Mr. Mike Fisher, chief readjustment counseling officer, Veterans Health Administration, for his outstanding commitment and achievements to help keep our promises to the men and women who served. He has regularly worked with veterans groups to help improve legislation to strengthen the VA Vet Center program and continuously demonstrated his commitment to the veterans and family members who are served in these facilities on a daily basis.

  • Mr. Justin Vogt, staff director, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for his work on the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity as an advocate and policymaker devoted to improving the lives of our nation’s veterans, their families and their survivors. In particular, DAV appreciates his dedicated collaboration with veterans organizations on employment, education, training and vocational rehabilitation programs. His efforts during the pandemic provided additional opportunities for disabled veterans and their families, and his leadership proved to be vital on the Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act, which passed into law in 2021.

  • Mr. David Shearman, minority deputy staff director, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for his significant contributions as an advocate and policymaker devoted to improving the lives of our nation’s veterans, their families and their survivors. In particular, DAV appreciates his leadership and dedicated collaboration with DAV and the veterans community on issues affecting service-disabled veterans as well as his support in helping to advance meaningful bipartisan legislation to keep the promises made to all those who served.

  • Mr. Simon Coon, professional staff member, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for his significant contributions as an advocate and policymaker devoted to improving the lives of those who served. In particular, DAV appreciates his dedicated collaboration with the veterans community on toxic exposure issues, such as the planning and execution of the March 2021 hearing on toxic exposures, his efforts on the TEAM Act, and his leadership on the Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act.

 

About DAV

DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promise to America’s veterans. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them, fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill, providing employment resources to veterans and their families, and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at DAV.org.

 

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