BENNINGTON -- Bennington resident and former commander of the Bennington chapter of the Disabled American Veterans Lisa Sloan has been named the commander for the state of Vermont, the state's first female commander in more than 50 years.
Sloan first joined the Bennington chapter of the organization in 2006, not long after the death of her father. Sloan said that she had been suffering from depression, and when she saw representatives of the DAV fundraising outside of Walmart, she decided to join.
"I joined so I would have a purpose," she said in a phone interview on Thursday.
Sloan, who grew up in Bennington, became increasingly involved in the local chapter, eventually serving as commander from 2011-2012. She described her new position as "an honor." The state commander is elected every year, with a two-term limit.
"It took a lot to earn the trust of the other members," she said, "I hope that I can make them proud over the next year."
Sloan said that her duties include keeping order at the state meetings, which are held in White River Junction, and attending conferences.
Sloan recently returned from the national DAV conference, which was held in Las Vegas. Sloan said while congress is in session, she and other members of the DAV are heavily involved in veterans legislation and working to improve groups such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"Come February," she said, "we'll all go down to Washington, D.C.
The DAV was founded in the years following World War I.
Today, according to their website, the organization is "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."