DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) Navy veteran K.C. Johnson is a passionate member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
“We are not paid employees, we’re all volunteers in the DAV,” Johnson said. “We’re all about veterans helping veterans.”
He knows the importance of helping others following his military service. He joined in 1976 at the age of 17, and was assigned to the supply division aboard the USS Halsey – a guided missile cruiser in San Diego.
“We ran the enlisted mess galley, the officer’s galley, the ward room, the ship’s laundry, [the] ship’s store,” Johnson said. “Dispersing all the food service items on the ship, it was very complicated. I was on that ship from 1976 to 1980.”
K.C. would then be honorably discharged, went into the active reserves for two years, then went active duty again aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. Honorably discharged again, he would later be approach in 2002 to join the DAV.
“I was recruited by one of the greater veterans not just in Brown County, but in the state of Wisconsin – past national commander for the DAV, Dick Marbs,” Johnson said.
K.C. would go on to serve as chapter 3 commander in Green Bay, and worked his way up to state commander in 2011.
“I’ve filled every position in the department except for chaplain and treasurer – which are tough jobs by the way, so I stayed away from those,” he said.
He’s currently the state’s DAV Chief of Staff, and hasn’t stayed away from volunteering and giving back to other veterans. He’s also encouraging other vets, especially younger ones, to sign up and join.
“When you join the DAV, it’s part of being a family,” Johnson said. “You’re helping other veterans, you’re a veteran, you remember what it was like when you were out on your own the first time out of the military. You’re giving back to the veteran community, you’re also giving back to society. It’s just an excellent opportunity to be a part of something that really makes a difference in veterans’ lives.”