DAV recognizes exceptional veterans advocates

Washington, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DAV (Disabled American Veterans) announced the names of eight 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 veterans advocates are eligible for this recognition, which spotlights commitment and excellence in service to veterans, their families and their survivors.

“These public servants have illustrated an unmatched commitment to fighting for the best interests of veterans and their families,” said DAV National Commander Nancy Espinosa. “Veterans are a nonpartisan issue, and these honorees worked tirelessly to ensure our nation keeps its promises to our nation’s heroes.”

Outstanding Senate Legislator of the Year: Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, for his many years of leadership and bipartisanship on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of our nation’s ill and injured veterans. DAV greatly appreciates his staunch advocacy efforts for rural veterans, tribal veterans and veterans’ families, and it salutes his leadership during the 117th Congress on the Veterans’ Emergency Care Claims Parity Act. His unwavering commitment to veterans and their families is also evident in the 118th Congress with his support of the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, Caring for Survivors Act, Discharge Review Board Accountability Act and the Veterans’ COLA Act of 2023.

Outstanding House Legislator of the Year: Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, for his distinguished service on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and his dedication to promoting and advancing legislation to enhance the lives of those who have served. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in the 117th Congress and as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs in the 118th Congress, he has been a staunch advocate in efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion for veterans and to expand and protect veterans benefits. His leadership during the 117th Congress led to the enactment of the Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022, and his relentless dedication to protect veterans from predatory claims companies is evident by his championing the GUARD VA Benefits Act in the 117th and 118th Congresses.

Outstanding Federal Executive of the Year: Tanya Bradsher, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for her leadership and oversight of the implementation of the Honoring our PACT Act during her time as the VA chief of staff. She is the VA’s second-highest official and chief operating officer tasked with running the day-to-day operations at the VA, and  DAV looks forward to her tackling challenges facing the department, such as the rollout of the Electronic Health Record Modernization program, strengthening the VA’s collaboration with the Department of Defense on the VA-DOD Joint Executive Committee and reducing suicides among veterans. DAV also thanks her for her 20 years of service to the United States Army and this grateful nation. As a combat veteran, she brings a level of understanding and compassion to her work for the men and women who were wounded, made ill or injured by their military service.

DAV Special Recognition Awards:

  • Lourdes Tiglao, director, Center for Women Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for her dedication and commitment to the women veterans community, which deserves our deepest gratitude and admiration. She has worked tirelessly to advocate for and spread the word on veterans health care, benefits and services, and she clearly established herself as a tremendous asset to the VA, disabled veterans, their families and DAV.

  • Alexis MacDonald, staff director, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Health, for her dedicated collaboration with the veteran community in advocating for House passage of legislation to improve health services for our nation’s veterans through the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act of 2023 and the COPE Act, along with introduction of several other pieces of thoughtful legislation such as the Veterans Emergency Care Reimbursement Act, and her contributions to the Women Veteran Task Force.

  • Bill Mallison, staff director, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, for his significant contributions as a policymaker and dedicated collaboration with the veteran community in ensuring the VA’s successful modernization of its information technology system and electronic health record and improved accountability and oversight through legislation—the EHR Program RESET Act of 2023, Department of Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Modernization Improvement Act and Department of Veterans Affairs Telehealth Strategy Act.

  • Abby Roubal, legislative aide, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for her leadership and collaboration with DAV on improving services for our nation’s women veterans and working with the veteran community on legislation to provide veterans timely access to high-quality care through the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act of 2023, Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act and Rural Vital Emergency Transportation Services Act.

  • Olivia Naughton, legislative assistant, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for her work and collaboration with DAV and the veteran community on the implementation of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act, the House’s Women Veteran Task Force and oversight of due process for incompetent veterans.


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.