America wasn't prepared for so many returning vets after WWI — so it created DAV.
True
Disabled American Veterans

When U.S. Marine Sam Johnson was on patrol in Iraq, he and his team came across a pressure plate IED.

It hit the front of his vehicle.

Fortunately, everyone survived the traumatic experience. Sam sustained some injuries to his knees, but after a number of surgeries, he was able to recover physically. "I feel good," he said. "Now I can walk downstairs without too much pain."


But as he transitioned out of the military, the next big hurdle was finding a new job — one that he would find as fulfilling as his last.

"I knew I wanted to have a great job," he said, so he turned to DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a nonprofit charity with the mission of providing a lifetime of support for disabled veterans who have made sacrifices for their country. They were holding a job fair in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Often what can be most terrifying for vets is what comes after their service.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

DAV was founded after World War I, a war in which more than 4.7 million Americans served.

At the time, the country wasn’t prepared to deal with the enormous scale of so many newly returned veterans, and it certainly wasn’t prepared to help the 204,000 vets who had been wounded or injured during this brutal conflict.

A wounded American soldier in Neuilly, France, during or shortly after World War I. Image via Library of Congress.

These men needed jobs, access to medical care, and other forms of support, and there was no single government agency like today’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

So groups of veterans with disabilities started gathering together all across the country to help fill that void, raise money for those who needed it, and create jobs for other veterans. Slowly a new organization began to take shape: the Disabled American Veterans of the World War. In September 1920, the organization held its first national caucus, attended by 250 disabled veterans. From there, the organization kept growing.

The attendees of the second national DAV convention. Image via DAV, used with permission.

Of course, a lot has changed over the last century since the DAV was founded. But the organization has never wavered from its core mission: helping veterans and their families get access to the resources and tools they need as they transition back to civilian life.

Today, DAV has more than 1,300 chapters and 1.3 million members across the United States.

Image via Upworthy/DAV.

Every year, they help 1 million veterans — such as Sam — with everything from health care and benefits to rides to medical appointments and other issues as they arise.

They also represent the interests of veterans on Capitol Hill, engage with the public, and, of course, hold job fairs like the one Sam attended in Charlotte where he landed his current job —  a career he is very proud of.

He said, "It gave me the opportunity to interview with these companies and land a job making this world a better place."

Image via Upworthy/DAV.

via Noti Tolum / Facebook

A group of beachgoers in Mexico proved that when people join together and stand up for justice, you can triumph in even the direst of circumstances.

Municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo got received a tip that there were men allegedly committing "immoral acts" on the beach. So the officers, armed with AR-15 rifles, picked up two Canadian men.

"The officers approached a group of young foreigners," local politician Maritza Escalante Morales recounted in her video. "After about 20 minutes passed, a patrol car arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

Most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” and unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less
via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less