KOTA Cares: Disabled American Veterans provides a lifetime of support

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 8:18 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - More than 19 million veterans call the United States home and after leaving the armed forces, veterans can face unique challenges as they transfer into civilian life.

On this week’s KOTA Cares, we spotlight Disabled American Veterans or DAV, an organization whose goal is to help the men and women who served our country.

According to the DAV, veterans may face health problems, employment issues, and to access their benefits after they leave the service.

But through the non-profit, veterans and their families can find services that can make the transition easier along with a lifetime of support.

“We help disabled American veterans and their families, meaning their dependents, widows, orphans with filing their claims, getting their claims on file the correct way, transporting veterans to appointments out of here,” said David Meltz, commander for the Rapid City chapter of Disabled American Veterans.

“We’re kind of a safe haven, if you come here and talk to us it’s going to be veterans helping veterans,” added H.G. Krosschell, treasurer for the Rapid City chapter of DAV, “Some of us might not have the exact experience but we’ve all served our country.”

Additionally, Disabled American Veterans offers free rides to VA medical facilities across the country including both the Fort Meade Medical Center and the Rapid City VA Clinic.

“We transport veterans and their spouses to any VA appointment, wherever the VA sends them. We’ve taken people to the Denver VA, the Minneapolis VA, and Sioux Falls. Anywhere around the Black Hills area, as long as the VA sends you, we will transport the veteran or the spouse at no cost,” explained Christine Speirs, public relations officer for the Rapid City DAV.

Mary Hague says that without the DAV she wouldn’t be able to visit her husband as often as she does.

“My husband is in hospice care at Fort Meade, and I ride up with them two to three times a week to see him,” said Hague. “They pick me up right at my door where I live and take me up there and then deliver me back at noon otherwise, I might only get to see him once a week.”

The Rapid City Chapter of Disabled American Veterans is located at 101 East Madison Street and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

To Donate to Disabled American Veterans, click the link here.