The Disabled American Veterans is a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and their family members with specific needs.


The Disabled American Veterans is a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and their family members with specific needs.



Now, the Havelock chapter is seeking a little help of its own to further help local veterans.



Robert Branscome, 71, a disabled veteran himself, is one of two DAV service officers for the organization’s Chapter 26 in Havelock. He said the organization is seeking help to open an office in Havelock.



“We have no place to work,” Branscome said. “We work from our homes, our vehicles and any place that will allow us for a short period of time. We need help.”



Branscome said the organization needs a building in the Havelock area to meet with veterans or their family members. The space would need a computer, scanner, copier, filing cabinets and phone to be able to properly conduct business. The space would also be used for the DAV chapter to hold their monthly meetings.



An office, Branscome said, would better enable the group to function as a community service organization.



“Our purpose is to serve the local veterans and their families,” Branscome said. “The only monies we have is what we collect from donations received while standing in front of Walmart and other businesses and any fundraisers we have during the year.”



The organization does not receive funds from any government agency or organization, Branscome said.



“All of our monies come from the local community and they are used in the local community,” he said. “We, the members, receive no monies or compensation for our work except the feeling of satisfaction knowing we have helped someone in need, and yes, the thanks we get from the ones who are getting the help.”



Branscome said that organization members must pay their own gas bills and other costs that are required to accomplish their duties.



“That alone is quite expensive,” Branscome said. “Gas is not cheap and remember most of us are disabled and on fixed incomes.”



Branscome is hoping that someone in the community will donate the use of a building rent free in the Havelock area. The donor could use the donation as a tax write-off, Branscome said.



“This could help us both and the public would greatly benefit from it,” he said.



Branscome said that the local DAV service officers assist veterans and their families from all branches of the armed services in the Havelock, Newport and Morehead City areas.



Group members help veterans in filing claims to the Veterans Administration and answer questions to ensure the forms are filled out properly.



“In a military town, this can and does take a lot of our time,” Branscome said. “We also help in other ways such as ensuring that they have access to transportation to Veterans Administration medical centers.



“The county VA offices do have a purpose, but we sometimes have to refile claims that were not filed correctly at their office. Veterans have come to us and state that they were told they have no valid claim and we then find that they do. The federal VA offices are unforgiving and take no excuses for anything.”



Branscome said the organization also has a welfare committee that distributes money from the chapter in some hardship cases.



“As you can see, as an organization working for and with our local veterans and their families, we do quite a lot of good in the community,” Branscome said.



Anyone wishing to donate money or support the organization by offering office space can call Branscome at 229-3160.