I am a DAV state service officer for the DAV Department of Kentucky and a member of the London Chapter 66. I have been a service officer for 25 years with the VFW, VVA, Amvets and DAV.
I have always considered this as an honor and privilege to be able to assist my brothers and sisters in filing the paperwork and giving the proper advice needed for VA claims. I also file retirement, annuities, Civil Service and other claims that would help a veteran or dependent receive any benefits they have earned.
There are rumors floating around for whatever reason accusing me of charging veterans a fee for helping them file claims and receiving a percentage once their disability is settled. Now I want to set the record straight.
I have never charged, nor would I ever consider charging, anyone a fee for anything. As many years as I have done this, I have never charged my chapter for any of my expenses. If I need something to help do my job better, I buy it. I go every year to be certified, trained and kept up-to-date on any new changes made by the VA.
The reason I feel I am one of the best is because of being professional, but I still have a caring attitude for the veteran, spouse or child. I have the integrity and a code of values to which I adhere. I have the proven experience as a service officer, and as per Article 15.3, Section 8, of the DAV bylaws, it is a complete violation to accept any pay, gratuities or charge in any way for our service.
Best of all, it has always been a pleasure and privilege for me because I have met so many people from so many walks of life but, in the end, we all have one thing in common — we are all veterans.
I have many people I have assisted in the past that I believe will tell you I have not charged them, nor will I ever charge anyone.
Thank you very much for your past confidence, and I wish to apologize for all this to all I have helped in the past and hope to continue to assist in the future.