(WASHINGTON, DC) –Vietnam Veterans of America life member Dennis Koehler was recognized for his work on behalf of America’s veterans at the VVA National Leadership Conference in Orlando. Koehler was presented with the VVA Commendation Medal, the organization’s highest award, for his outstanding, exemplary service to veterans, and to his community.
“When an important legislative issue arises, we can always count on Dennis Koehler to lead the charge. ‘No’ has never been a part of his vocabulary when veterans’ issues require action,” said VVA national President John Rowan.
A founding member of the Thomas H. Corey Chapter 25 in West Palm Beach, Florida, Koehler has been active in VVA for over 29 years. He served on the first National Board of Directors, and he has continuously provided guidance and legal counsel to the Florida state council, to his chapter, and to any veteran in need. Koehler serves as the Vice President of the Friend’s of Fisher House, Inc. A founding member of the Palm Beach County Veterans Committee, Koehler has raised thousands of dollars and contributed countless hours for local Memorial Day ceremonies and Veterans Day parades.
As chair of the Florida State Council Government Affairs Committee, Koehler was an early champion of what later came to be known as “Advanced Funding for VA Health Care.” His tireless advocacy contributed to this important legislation becoming the top priority of VVA’s national legislative agenda.
Koehler recently received a call from a local Congressional office to assist a disabled veteran. The veteran’s non-service disability pension was stopped because he had received a settlement from an insurance company. Koehler’s actions on behalf of the veteran restored the veteran’s pension, keeping him off the streets, and has led to the introduction of the Veterans Pension Protection Act of 2010. Koehler’s advocacy has also resulted in the establishment of the Veteran’s Preference law for the State of Florida. Though the law is on the books, the job is not done, and he will lead the effort in the next Florida legislative session to enact modifications to the current law.
Said Rowan, “Koehler’s passion and his tireless energy for his service to veterans have resulted in numerous recognition awards. But his greatest reward comes from helping his fellow veterans, which he has made his life’s work.”
To view the presentation of the VVA Commendation Medal to Dennis Koehler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vevf6WYmb3Y