ABOUT CHAPTER 129
What we do
The DAV Chapter 129 strives, day in and day out, to provide support to our veterans in our community. We do so through guidance in Veterans Affairs (VA) paperwork, support our disabled Veterans through representation in the local community (as well as nationally through our National Headquarters), and encourage disabled Veterans to express their compassion for other Veterans through our volunteer programs.
Why we do it
Our brothers and sisters in arms deserve the benefits they are entitled to through their service with the United States Military. The members of the DAV are former (or current Military) Veterans. We want to make sure that Veteran takes advantage of the benefits afforded to them through their service.
How we do it
We support our fellow Veterans by guiding them through the battlefield of a Veterans Affairs (VA) process for their benefits that often discourage many Veterans along the way. We have local and national leaders with experience to help streamline, encourage, and look over documents and information to make the process of claiming benefits easier.
Where we do it
We are here for every Veteran, no matter their address. Situated on the edge of Shelby Township and Rochester Hills DAV Chapter 129 works those communities and the surrounding areas. We will not turn away a veteran in need, due to where they live.
Robert H. Cox Chapter 129 was established in 1966. Since that time, we have, and continue to, provide services to veterans across north Macomb and Oakland counties. Our chapter helps veterans navigate the, often cumbersome, Veteran Affairs (VA) system.
With both chapter and national level officers we help our fellow veterans apply for multiple benefits that they are entitled to. Such benefits include: Disability Compensation and Related Compensation benefits, Application for Pension, Notice of Disagreement (NOD), application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits, among others.
Each year we hold our largest local fundraiser, the Forget-Me-Not drive. All monies raised through this campaign are strictly dedicated to helping local veterans in need.
Origin of Forget-Me-Not Drives
In the Meuse-Argonne Forest the last big decisive “push” of the World War was fought and won by the allies on Argonne Day, which was September 26th. The Disabled American Veterans of the World War enlisted the aid of the general public in waging the battle for justice still being fought by thousands of unfortunate disabled veterans whose claims for government treatment and compensation had been denied because of the deficiencies of the law or of the evidence submitted by them. On that date Forget-Me-Nots were first offered for sale in every large town and city throughout the nation, to a grateful people who had not forgotten their wartime promises that nothing would be too good for the returned soldier.
The wearing of a Forget-Me-Not on Argonne Day, therefore, meant much more than the expression of a sentiment; it carried with it as well, the fact that the wearer was performing an unselfish service in assisting unfortunate and needy Disabled American Veterans. By remembering the living, we can best honor the dead. Through the sale of the little blue flowers of remembrance, the DAV hoped to realize sufficient funds to carry on its important work for the coming years. The first Forget-Me-Not Day was February 24, 1926.
At the Detroit Convention, July 31, 1929, Argonne Day, September 26, and Armistice Day, November 11, were designated as Forget-Me-Not Days with the understanding that units may conduct a drive on dates other than the above because of weather conditions or other local circumstances.
In accordance with the custom established at the White House at the time of the Disabled Veterans of the World War‟s first annual appeal to the public through the medium of the Forget-Me-Not sale, President Calvin Coolidge, while at the summer White House, issued a proclamation calling upon the people of the U.S. to support the organization‟s call for assistance in which he commended the DAV as one of the agencies which has given the government needed assistance by assisting in every possible way in alleviating the sufferings of those veterans of the recent conflict for whom the war still endures.
Our Auxiliary Unit plays a pivotal role in the services we provide and our ability to help as many Veterans in our community as possible. The Auxiliary Unit is made up of family members of past and present Chapter members. (For more information about DAV Auxiliary, please visit: http://auxiliary.dav.org)
THE BIG RED BARN
Our DAV Hall, affectionately known as the “Big Red Barn” is a prominent historic landmark. Built in the late 1880s, and sitting on five acres of land, the Big Red Barn was originally used for livestock, feed storage, and the occasional barn dance. Those barn dances turned out to be popular, and lucrative, for the owners who then focused on hosting barn dances and other events in the barn until the outbreak of WWII.
The founding of the chapter in 1966 breathed new life to the Big Red Barn, acting as our home, and command center, for our organization. In addition to the stories these walls hold, over the 100 years it has stood, we’re happy to be the most current story, a story that involved helping our fellow Veterans.
Today, we still have dances, but mostly in connection to wedding receptions and parties that are hosted in the Big Red Barn. To host your own event click here.
Chapter 129 Commander Randy Whitmire
Senior Vice Commander
William (Bill) Dezur
Junior Vice Commander
Officer of the Day
Chapter 129 Auxiliary Commander
Senior Vice Commander
Junior Vice Commander
dav mISSION sTATEMENT
We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.