Chickasha DAV Chapter

The Chickasha DAV will be opening in the former Chickasha Police Station on the corner 6th and Chickasha Ave. The DAV held an open house on Dec. 7.

Jessica Lane/The Express-Star

The brass doors at the former Chickasha Police Station are being polished to a brilliant shine to welcome local veterans. 

The building, at the corner of 6th and Chickasha Ave., will soon house the Chickasha Disabled American Veterans office. 

The Canadian Valley Technology Center has provided an office for the DAV, free of charge, Andrea Chavers, service officer, said. 

Chavers said that while the DAV is very grateful to CVTC for providing the office space, the new location will provide more room for additional services and reduce wait time. 

The building has individual offices where veterans can receive assistance in order to file medical claims, obtain records, find housing and employment, attend meetings and meet other veterans. There will be a waiting area with couches and a television. Making the veterans comfortable is a priority, Chavers said veterans are often "very aware of their surroundings." 

A large storage room within the building is being converted into a food pantry that will provide food and hygiene products. The bathrooms are being remodeled and they as well as the rest of the building will be ADA compliant. 

Chavers said there are many groups within the community who have helped with volunteering and donations to the facility. 

Joyce Stockton and the Oklahoma Home and Community Educators have helped a lot, with Stockton donating supplies and floor tiles. Several CVTC students have volunteered their time. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir allowed selected inmates from the jail to help with improvements, Chavers said. 

Chavers said the DAV will go beyond providing resources by making phone calls for the veteran and guiding them one on one. Chavers said she and the rest of the DAV staff are excited to begin helping their fellow veterans.

"We're ecstatic," Chavers said. 

Chavers and the rest of the DAV staff are all veterans. According to Chavers, many veterans are more comfortable communicating their needs with other veterans.

The DAV also wants to help veterans facing homelessness. The new DAV building is within walking distance of the Resurrection House, a homeless shelter in Chickasha. 

Chavers said the DAV once came into contact with a veteran who had been living in a ravine near the library. Within a few months, the DAV and local churches combined efforts to provide him with a hotel room and a part time job. This veteran went on to become fully employed in another state, Chavers said. 

This is just one success story that the DAV hopes to repeat. 

The Chickasha DAV Chapter is the oldest in the state of Oklahoma. Chavers said the DAV is aiming to have the facility open by Jan. 15.

Those who wish to volunteer or donate furniture to the new DAV office may call the CVTC DAV office at 405-222-7571. 

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