Services

DAV is a strong and influential advocate for veterans, fighting on their behalf to ensure they receive the full range of services and protections they deserve. We do this by providing free, professional assistance to all veterans and their families in obtaining VA benefits, and by advocating for the rights of ill and injured veterans on Capitol Hill. And we do it all for free, without any government funding.

We have a proven track record of results. We help veterans obtain needed benefits through 100 offices in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and through mobile service units which travels to rural communities. We provide help finding jobs, a place to live and quality health care. We bring together veterans struggling with physical, mental or emotional injuries to share their experiences as part of the healing process. We are here to help veterans over­come great odds as they try to regain a sense of normalcy and take back their lives.

We’re effective because we’ve been doing this for over 90 years, and because our team is comprised of fellow veterans. They’re not only good at what they do, they understand better than anyone else the unique and pressing needs facing veterans returning home who must learn to live with illnesses or injuries related to their service.

DAV focuses on the people returning from service, not just a specific illness or injury. We provide services to address physical injuries, but also emotional and economic well-being. We empower veterans to lead fulfilled, high-quality lives. We also respond to the needs of their entire families.

  • We help returning veterans transition back to civilian life by linking them with services that address their physical, emotional and financial needs.
  • We link service-injured veterans to job training and job assistance programs.
  • We provide free, professional assistance to veterans of all generations in obtaining VA and other government benefits earned through service.
  • We provide transportation for veterans who need help getting to and from medical appointments.
  • We help homeless veterans by providing food and shelter while connecting veterans to medical care, benefits counseling and job training.
  • We give emergency grants to ill and injured veterans impacted by natural disasters.

On Capitol Hill, DAV helps promote policies which ensure veterans and their families can live with respect and dignity. When our leaders testify before Congress, policymakers listen, not just because we’ve been around for more than 90 years, but because we are backed by our members – 1.2 million veterans – a voice that policymakers cannot ignore. We helped gain national recognition of PTSD, developed the primary treatment program the VA uses today and have advocated for veterans with mental health challenges for more than a half century.

DAV fully supports Senator Rush's legislation to make the Secretary of Veteran Services a cabinet level position.
It is unfortunate that the Secretary of Veteran Services is really a Secretary in name only answering to the Secretary of HHS and not the Governor.
Our Veterans deserve a seat at the table communicating directly with the Governor. Thank you Senator Rush for filing this important legislation.Today, I filed legislation to place the Secretary of Veterans’ Services as part of the Governor’s cabinet; therefore, responsible for reporting directly to the Governor. Currently the “Secretary” reports to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, not the Governor, which is a total disservice to our states almost 400,000 Veterans!

This legislation will ensure that the voices of Massachusetts veterans, our active and reserve service members and their families are heard loud and clear!
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The DAV is saddened and disappointed by yesterdays report on the tragedy at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

DAV hopes this tragedy is the catalyst for real change both within the Soldiers' homes system and within the Department of Veteran Services. Both the soldiers' home system and DVS are in need of reform and modernization.

DAV has officially requested that the House and Senate create a special joint committee to examine the way in which the Commonwealth cares for older Veterans. We have asked that this committee be granted subpoena power for both records and testimony. DAV urges it be properly staffed with investigators and experts to conduct a broad and in depth examination of the entire soldiers' home system including whether this system should continue in its current form. Legislative recommendations should be made at the conclusion of the investigation.

DAV is encouraged that the Governor will be announcing reforms. We urge his administration to take a deep and broad look at our veterans services systems with the goal of systematic change and improvement. We urge that the selection of the next Secretary of Veteran Services will be conducted with full transparency and with input from Veteran advocates.

DAV feels that a systems review of this magnitude is long overdue. There have been many attempts to make legislative changes to this system over the years. However without a full and detailed understanding of the current needs and holes in services no meaningful change is possible. This is a serious public health issue. We as a Commonwealth owe it to our most vulnerable and honorable citizens to do better.

This oversight review, if conducted under the proper legal authority, staffing and funding will lay out a path to reform. All of the Commonwealth’s veterans deserve to feel confident that if they one day become a resident of a state-run veteran care facility that they will flourish and not perish. It will require all of us to take a hard look at how we serve our elderly Veterans. It will be difficult but we must have the courage to do better for these men and women.
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