Disabled American Veterans to hold Winchester meeting next Thursday

Published 2:26 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

The William McClanahan Chapter 12 of the Kentucky Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is looking for a few good folks who served their country.

The Kentucky-based non-profit was founded following World War I and, according to its website, is “dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.”

The chapter consists of five counties: Bourbon, Clark, Harrison, Nicholas and Scott. It meets on the first Thursday of every month at Burnaco’s in Paris but is bringing its meeting to Winchester on July 6 from 5-7 p.m. at city hall.

Email newsletter signup

The chapter’s service officers, Greg Yates and Michael Bates, discussed what potential new members can expect.

“The intent for that first hour is for any veterans who might want to submit a claim for veterans benefits, like a disability claim,” Yates said.

The second hour will consist of the chapter’s regular business, which includes regular updates on state and national legislation regarding veteran’s issues.

Yates explained more about the medical and financial benefits from the Veterans Administration that DAV can help file a claim for.

“It’s what they call service-connected,” Yates explained, mentioning that the injury must have taken place during time of enlistment. “A veteran who has something like a bad back they got from carrying a buck backpack or from riding in a tank.”

Claimants will need either paperwork or the year the injury occurred to file for financial or healthcare assistance.

“There are all kinds of different percentages. People get money,” Yates said about the lesser know compensation benefit. “It can be as little as ten percent, which is like $160 per month, to one hundred percent, which is a lot more.”

Bates knows firsthand how helpful the organization is from when he filed claims years ago.

“The DAV officer that I have never met and had just talked to helped through all this,” he said.

The help he got inspired Bates to serve with the organization.

“Because of him helping me, it made me want to give back, and that is what we want to do…Our main goal is to help veterans who do not know what they can receive and live a better life,” Bates said.

Giving back is part of the organization’s pay-it-forward mentality.

In the past, the chapter has provided assistance in the way of phone cards for deployed personnel, emergency funds or food for needy veterans and their families and much more, including legacy scholarships.

“We award scholarships for all the counties in our chapter…They are $500 scholarships given to a senior,” Yates said.

Most of the organization’s annual income is from fundraising efforts, including a partnership with the Winchester Golden Corral.

“Proceeding Veterans Day, for so many weeks, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday some of us will be at Golden Corral with a table set up selling coins, hats and flags to veterans,” Yates said.

Last year, Bates solicited enough donations before the buffet’s annual Veterans Night to ensure that over 20 lucky veterans got to take home a prize.

The chapter wants to continue its efforts in the area and is always looking for new members.

There are requirements to join.

“You have to be a veteran and have had an honorable discharge,” Yates said. “You have to have been injured, gassed or wounded during a time of war.”

A lifetime membership costs $300 and can be paid in installments, though a discount is given to those who pay the entire fee upfront.

For more information about DAV, contact Yates at (859) 556-0251 or Bates at (859) 771-7888, or visit DAV’s website, www.dav.org.

“If you are a veteran who needs help, contact us. If you are a veteran who wants to help other veterans, we have a place for you,” Bates said.