Mission News Blog

Filters

After sustaining life-altering wounds in Iraq, Nick Koulchar thought he’d lost his purpose. As it turns out, his wounds would give him a whole new mission. In 2006, 24-year-old Koulchar entered the Army as a private. By 2008, he was deployed to Sadr City, Iraq with Alpha Company 40th Engineers, Task Force 1/6, conductin...
It was 1979, the summer after Glenn E. Smith’s junior year of high school when he decided to sign up for the Army’s Delayed Entry Program.  “I realized that I only had one year of school left and I still didn't know what I wanted to do afterward,” said Smith.  For a decade Smith served in...
Army veteran Alexander Murphy suffered numerous injuries during his service, but among the most painful were those inflicted on his legs in a truck collision.   “We were in a truck, and there was a convoy coming. There was another military truck that tried to pass in an area where he couldn’t make it,” recal...
Vietnam veteran turns to DAV for help with lasting effects of war Dennis Reichert struggles daily with what he experienced in Vietnam. Memories of fierce combat haunt the Marine, as do images of the weapons, flak jackets and canteens stacked row-after-row, each representing an American injured or killed on the battlefi...
Like many veterans, Rhonda White’s service took her far from family and friends during the holidays. White was 24 years old when she first spent the holidays away from her family and loved ones. It was November 1990, and the young soldier was deployed to Saudi Arabia where she worked for the Long-Range Planning Cell located...
Air Force veteran Jonathan Campos seemed to have all the criteria necessary to find employment after his service, but it still took him eight months to find work.  “I’m a 15-year active duty (Air Force) firefighter, now (Reserves),” says Campos. “It took me eight months to find employment, even after earnin...
After boot camp and training, Navy veteran Josh Vinson did four years in aviation electronics and re-enlisted at Seattle’s Space Needle. By this time, he was married and wasn't ready to finish his time in the service.  Vinson served three years as a Navy recruiter in Nebraska where he excelled, winning numerous recr...
For Army veteran Mike Hammons, his brave grandfather, who fought in World War II, was always his inspiration to serve his country.  “My grandfather was in the Marine Corps, and he was wounded in Iwo Jima,” said Hammons. On Hammons’ 17th birthday, his mother signed for him to join the Army as soon as he...
For DAV benefits expert Joe Kauffman, the spirit of giving is something he embraces every day, and the opportunity to help his fellow veterans means more to him than he could have ever imagined. “My work [with DAV] is humbling,” said Kauffman. “Every day I meet with veterans who have remarkable stories and e...
In 2006, 24-year-old Nicholas Koulchar entered the U.S. Army as a private. By 2008, he was deployed to Sadr City, Iraq, with Alpha Company 40th Engineers, Task Force 1/6, conducting counter improvised explosive device (IED) operations. Life, as he knew it, was about to change in ways he’d never imagined. On August 26, 2008, while...
In the early 1980s, Army veteran Mark Crowl spent a year in Germany rebuilding tank ranges for the new M1 Abrams tank. During that time—as is common among servicemembers—he suffered hearing loss.  After his service, Crowl needed hearing aids but went without them for decades. “For 30 years I needed them...
During his more than 26 years of service, Navy veteran Louis Johnson served six different ships, logging eight deployments that were six months or longer. “I was a professional sailor, which encompassed a myriad of different things,” said Johnson. “I loved what I did, and when I was older I loved watching the young sa...
Austin Lasiter served his country for four years as a Marine.  “I didn’t have anything going for me after high school, so I enlisted, and five weeks after I graduated, I was standing on the yellow footprints,” said Lasiter. While service provided him with the direction he was seeking, entering the workf...
Andrew Clark answered the call to duty—to serve and defend the freedoms he so cherishes—by enlisting in the Air Force in 2001.  In 2003, Clark deployed to Iraq with the 822 Security Forces Squadron. He emerged from his service in 2004 with numerous service-related injuries, most notably a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) a...
Michael Franko knew he wanted to serve his country, but his commitment swelled on a clear blue day in September that suddenly turned dark. “When September 11th happened, and I watched the atrocities occur on that day, it just solidified the fact that I wanted to be an infantryman and lead Marines in the fight against our enemies,...