Tribute to veterans with Arthur Wilson of Disabled American Veterans

Nov 11, 2010

Arthur Wilson, national adjutant and CEO of Disabled American Veterans, will be online Thursday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. ET to discuss Veterans Day and Wednesday's groundbreaking for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which will be the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the over three million living disabled American veterans and the countless hundreds of thousands who have died.

Good afternoon, I'm Art Wilson, National Adjutant of the  Disabled American Veterans and president of the Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation an organization working towards a memorial in Washington D.C., to honor all disabled veterans.  On this Veterans Day I'm here to answer your questions.

How many veterans of WWII are still alive?

Presently there are about 2.2 million WWII veterans still living.

Mr. Wilson, The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will be a wonderful tribute to disabled veterans. What does our country need to do to add substance to the symbolism so often espoused on Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Thousands of men and women are returning from the war on terror attempting to readjust.  They, along with millions of other veterans are relying upon the VA health care and benefits systems to help them.  The VA must ensure quality state of the art health care and timely adjudication of disability claims.  As advocates we must call upon Congress to provide adequate funding.

Your Veterans Day tributes

Where will the Disabled Vets Memorial be? Explain the origin of it and when it will be done please.

The Memorial will be located on a 2.4 acre site between Washington Ave. and  C St.  SW Washing in full view of the U.S. Capitol.  We hope the memorial will be dedicated in Nov of 2012.

Is the memorial in conjunction with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial?

No, the  memorial not associated with the VVM.

Veterans Day retrospective: Photos and interactivity from around the Web

What are the resources for home modifications for returning disabled veterans? Also, is the community they're returning to accessibility-assessed? Are we doing all we can to assist them to return to a full life in their community?

The resources are many and too numerous to mention here.  I suggest you contact your local DAV National Service Office who can help explain the availability and clarify local acessability requirements.  We are sensitive to the needs of severely disabled veterans and attempt to monitor their ever-changing requirements.

I understand that you yourself are a veteran and disabled. Can you tell us about your story and how you got involved in the group?

When returning form Vietnam in 1966 I was recruited while hospitalized in a VA Medical Center by a DAV National Service Officer and became DAV's first VV to join their professional ranks.  One of the best decisions I  ever made. 

How does the average disabled vet feel about today, Veterans Day?

I cannot speak for all disabled veterans but from my experience they are humbled, honored and proud to  serve and sacrifice in defense of our freedom.

First off, thank you to you and all vets for your service. This question may be on topic, but what is the feeling in the veteran community about gays in the military?

I have not heard that subject discussed.

Photos: Welcome home.

Thanks to ALL for participating.  Have a pleasant Veterans Day.

Art Wilson

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Arthur L. Wilson
Arthur L. Wilson is a Vietnam veteran who is the national adjutant and chief executive officer of the 1.2 million- member Disabled American Veterans
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