DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS
DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS. The Disabled American Veterans, World War, was organized in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1920 by Robert S. Marks, who became its first national commander. In June 1921 the first Texas chapter, Harwood Davis Chapter Number One, was formed in Fort Worth. By July 1921 there were more than twenty-five chapters throughout Texas. In May 1923 the Department of Texas, Disabled American Veterans, World War, was organized at Kerrville, Texas. William Ellis Register was elected first department commander, a position which he held for two terms. Congress granted the organization a federal charter in 1932. This charter was amended in 1942 by the deletion of the words "World War." The purpose of the organization is to advance the interests of all wounded, gassed, injured, and disabled veterans of all wars. Laurence R. Melton of Dallas was the first state commander to be elected to the office of national commander, for the term 1941–43. During this term he was instrumental in securing an executive order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for government agencies to cooperate in the hiring of the physically handicapped. This program became national in scope and was known as the President's Committee for the Hiring of the Handicapped. Larger chapters of the DAV offer scholarships to winners of essay contests held each year. In 1994 Texas had 155 chapters of the DAV, with 89,000 members in five regions throughout the state.