Veterans honored for helping fellow veterans

Shelton wounded warriors Burke Ross and Lauren Cust were honored recently for their dedication in helping veterans. Their service pictures are displayed on the new Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) van. Cust’s service dog Dorothy is also shown on the van.

Ross — who was wounded in World War II — and Cust — wounded in Iraq — have been leaders in veterans advocacy for many years. They were selected from the list of hundreds of veterans in Connecticut who were being considered for the honor.

The DAV and the AMVETS (American Veterans) have become partners in the effort to purchase vans for the DAV created LVAP program which provides day trips to veterans in homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and veterans who are “shut-ins.”

The LVAP vans have also been used for Operation Gift Cards, which has given more than $700 thousand in post exchange (military department store) gift cards and other donated items to troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital in Maryland the past eight years. Sixty-seven groups have co-sponsored the program.

Benefits from van use

Connecticut Heroes on Wheels in another major program which benefits by the use of the LVAP vans. Connecticut Heroes on Wheels provides free electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and other medical equipment to needy veterans and their families.

The DAV and AMVETS are collecting donations for the purchase of at least one additional LVAP van. Anyone interested in making a donation for the LVAP van should contact Al Church (DAV State Treasurer) at 860-529-1759 or

For more information about the DAV or AMVETS programs contact Al Meadows at 203-929-3357 or