Commander Dr. Charles Edwards Jr.

Article – Commander, Charles Edwards – Nov/Dec 2016

COMMITMENT TO SERVICE

FULFILLING OUR PROMISES TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED

On behalf of thousands of veterans, we may never know personally, thousands of veterans we may never meet, I want to say thank you for your service to our country as we together celebrate Veterans Day, 2016.  This Veterans Day, I am honored to participate with DAV Chapter 3 in Waco, Texas. This chapter is our oldest chapter in the Department of Texas where Mr. Oscar W. Lee is the commander.

As we continue to reflect on the month of November, we are thankful for you, all members of the DAV, Department of Texas and for your continued support of our Veteran Service Organization.  Through your commitment to service, we can partner together to help many additional disabled veterans within the great state of Texas.

My appreciation to Mrs. Teresa Johniken, DAV Adjutant/Treasurer, and her husband Mr. Craig Johniken, DAVA National Senior Vice Commander, for hosting our Department Officers Training in Lufkin, Texas, September 11-13, 2016. My thanks also to Mr. Brad Adams, Administrative Assistant, for his work as it relates to our Department website, the DAV directory, and the updating of the DAV Constitution and Bylaws.  During the months of September and October, I have had the privilege of visiting several U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and have seen first-hand the community involvement of our DAV chapters within their respective communities. Listed below are the chapters and individuals who made my visits very special and informative.        

September 19-20, 2016, Amarillo, Texas – Visit to the Amarillo VA Health Care System 

Mr. Ron Hearn, Commander, Chapter 26 – Amarillo, Texas
Mr. Earl Clift, Adjutant, Chapter 26 – Amarillo, Texas
Mrs. Tammy Hearn, Adjutant, Chapter 26, DAVA – Big Spring, Texas
Mr. Ed Edwards, DAV Department Service Officer – Big Spring, Texas
Mr. Michael L. Kiefer, Director, Amarillo VA Health Care System
Ms. Carolyn Kingham, Program Manager, Voluntary Service – Amarillo VA Health Care System
Ms. Barbara Moore, Chief, Community and Patient Relations Service – Amarillo VA Health Care System
Visit with patients and other staff members

September 20-21, 2016, Big Spring, Texas – Visit to the West Texas VA Health Care System

Mr. Edgar H. Meiser, Past Department Commander, Big Spring, Texas
Mrs. Heidrun Meiser, Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 47 – DAVA – Big Spring, Texas
Mr. Michael S. Tarpley, Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 47 – Big Spring, Texas
Mr. Clarence Hartsfield, Adjutant, Chapter 47 – Big Spring, Texas
Mrs. Anita Lee, Commander, Texas Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary
Mr. Don Boling, Department Service Officer – Big Spring, Texas
Mr. Oscar W. Lee, Commander, Chapter 3 – Waco, Texas
Mrs. Geri D. Massey, Commander, Chapter 36 – Abilene, Texas
Ms. Kalautie JangDhar, Acting Director – West Texas VA Health Care System
Mr. Manuel M. Davila, Associate Director – West Texas VA Health Care System
Ms. Akisha Williams, Chief, Voluntary Service – West Texas VA Health Care System
Mr. Scott Jimenez, Staff Chaplain – West Texas VA Health Care System
Visit with patients and other staff members

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 September 22-23, 2016, El Paso, Texas – Visit to the El Paso VA Health Care System

Mr. Thomas S. Tarango, Commander, Chapter 10 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Humberto M. Nevarez, Sr., Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 10 – El Paso, Texas
Ms. Cindy Ross, Jr. Vice Commander, Chapter 10 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Andrew Crowe, Commander, Chapter 165 – El Paso, Texas
Ms. Tabitha Chapman, Commander, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. David Garcia, Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Jesse Kelly, 1st Jr. Vice Commander, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Marcus Duvall, 2nd Jr. Vice Commander, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Richard Flores, Chapter Service Officer, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Steven Welsch, Treasurer, Chapter 187 – El Paso, Texas
Ms. Veronica Pena, Department Service Officer – El Paso, Texas
Mr. Richard Cerros, District Representative in Congressman Beto O’Rourke Office
Mr. Dwayne A. Williams, Director, Emergence Health Network-Veterans One-Stop Center
Ms. Karen Clark, Customer Service – El Paso Veterans Health Care System
Ms. Paige Kahlbaugh, Voluntary Service Specialist – El Paso Veterans Health Care System
Mr. Robert Obongo, Chief, Police Service – El Paso Veterans Health Care System
Director’s VSO’s quarterly meeting – El Paso Veterans Health Care System
Visit with patients and other staff members

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September 30, 2016, Houston, Texas – Visit to the VA Regional Office
Mr. Aaron Delaughter, NSO Supervisor – Houston, Texas
Ms. Romaine Barnett, NSO – Houston, Texas
Ms. Christy Sloane, NSO – Houston, Texas

October 5, 2016, San Antonio, Texas – Visit to the Best Corporate Event

Mr. Daniel P. Jameson, Commander, Chapter 14 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. David F. Sweeney, Adjutant, Chapter 14 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. Federico Vasquez, Treasurer, Chapter 14 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. Howard T. Ray, Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 128 – San Antonio, Texas

Best Corporate Event, a high-tech team building project, sponsored a ‘build a wheelchair’ which is a corporate social responsibility program born out of a desire to help American veterans with various mobility challenges.  It was good to be present and watch the assembling of wheelchairs by corporate employees from across America and to thank them and to accept 21 wheelchairs donated to the DAV, our organization.  Most these chairs were given to the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

 

 October 13, 2016, Kerrville, Texas – Visit to the Kerrville VA Medical Center

Ms. Kimberly Hoge, Administrative Officer – Kerrville VA Medical Center
Ms. Mary Teri Garza, Administrative Secretary – Kerrville VA Medical Center
Mr. Ricardo Rodriguez, Manager, Voluntary Service – Kerrville VA Medical Center
Mr. Michael Bath, VAVS Representative – Kerrville VA Medical Center
Ms. Anita Lee, Commander, Texas Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary
Mr. Oscar W. Lee, Commander, Chapter 3 – Waco, Texas
Visit with patients and other staff members

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October 14, 2016, San Antonio, Texas – Visit to the South Texas Veterans Health Care System

Mr. Vincent D. Emery, Commander, Chapter 5 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. J.R. Garza, Past Commander, Chapter 5 & 14 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. Al Owens, Past DAV Department Chaplain, Chapter 5 – San Antonio, Texas
Mrs. Pat Owens, Past DAVA Department Chaplain, Chapter 5 – San Antonio, Texas
Mr. Robert J. Klein, Sr. Vice Commander, Chapter 14 – San Antonio, Texas
Mrs. Anita Lee, Commander, Texas Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary
Mr. Oscar W. Lee, Commander, Chapter 3 – Waco, Texas
Ms. Earlene Cole, Commander, Chapter 114 – Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary
Mrs. Joyce G. Brown, Chief, Voluntary Service – South Texas Veterans Health Care System
Mr. Rodney Risemas, Voluntary Service Specialist – South Texas Veterans Health Care System
Visit with patients and other staff members

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As this year concludes, let us consider these thoughts:

Blaming your past won’t help change your future.  Instead, invest that energy in ensuring that you have a future that  doesn’t involve looking back.

May the dream of your past be the reality of your future.

If you believe the doubts in your mind, you won’t achieve the dreams in your heart.

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

My job is not to judge.  My job is not to figure out if someone deserves something.  My job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.

Reminder:  Please place on your calendar the dates of our upcoming DAV events for 2017.

DAV Department of Texas Mid-Year Seminar – January 13 -15, 2017 – Corpus Christi, Texas

DAV National Mid-Winter Conference – February 26 – March 1, 2017 – Arlington, Virginia

DAV Department of Texas Convention – June 9 – 11, 2017 – Austin, Texas

DAV & DAVA National Conventions – July 29 – August 1, 2017 – New Orleans, Louisiana

Again, I appreciate your membership in DAV.  Your support will make us stronger, and a stronger DAV means a more effective DAV and benefits for you, your family, and all disabled veterans of our state and nation.  I am honored to serve as your Commander and offer my best wishes for the Holiday Season and the New Year, 2017.


Dr. Charles W. Edwards, Jr.,
Department Commander