Wichita Falls DAV has new facility for veteran meetings

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Disabled American Veterans will have a new location for its monthly meetings for veterans.

They have an office space and use of the conference room at the Wichita Falls transportation center and invite all veterans to join them at their new location.

They are also bringing back their transportation van to take veterans to places they need to go to when they don’t have a way of getting there. COVID limited the DAV on what they could do, but they are ready to open their services back up fully and want veterans to take advantage of it.

“We have 632 members that are out there and we need them back,” Joel Jimenez, Commander of the DAV Chapter 41, said. “We need you back.”

The DAV was growing in members at a steady pace before the pandemic. Now, they are trying to build the veteran community back up after a challenging two years starting by finding a new space to hold monthly meetings.

“We are an informative organization, our chapter, to inform these veterans what they have and must need for their families,” Jimenez said.

“That’s why I want to encourage them if you are struggling mentally to reach out to the Disabled American Veterans,” David Zapata, Chapel with the DAV Chapter 41, said. “We can speak with them and calm the mental side.”

The DAV is ready to help and wants all veterans to know they deserve these resources and shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for help.

“It is not a handout,” Zapata said. “It is something that they earned because they served our country well and now our country wants to give back.”

“This is for men and women,” Jimenez said. “Right now, there is a high percentage of the women in these organizations like the DAV that are making this country what it is today.”

“The widows also because there are widows that need help and need direction and we are here to help them too,” Zapata said. “They were a part of it because when we were in the military, they suffered right along with us so we want to help them too.”

They are also bringing back a transport van they had before COVID that would take veterans to places they need to go.

“To Oklahoma City, Lawton, all these area clinics,” Jimenez said. “Dialysis, nobody thinks of the veterans that have dialysis problems. Who is going to get them there? With our van we are going to get them there.”

Veterans that are members of the DAV said joining helped get them back on their feet.

“They have helped me with my disability,” Zapata said. “They have helped lead me to the right places that I needed to go to get the help that I needed to get.”

“It is a fantastic deal that we can now reach out to these veterans, reach out and say help is there,” Jimenez said.

The DAV’s first meeting will be next Saturday, Sept. 10 at their new location; after that, they will host meetings the first Saturday of every month. They are also currently in the process of getting their new transport van and hope to have it sometime in October.