Members of the United States Daughters of 1812 (U.S.D. 1812) attended the 73rd annual meeting and conference of the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) National Advisory Committee (NAC.)

The conference was held May 1-3 at San Antonio, Texas. U.S.D. 1812 VAVS National Representative Sheila Beatty-Krout attended with U.S.D. 1812 National Deputies Mary Ellen Laursen of Central Arkansas VAVS, Vicki Panzer and Rita Sorley, both of San Antonio VAVS.

U.S.D. 1812 was honored as Panzer was chosen to lead the conference in the Pledge of Allegiance beginning the opening business session. The Arkansas delegation was joined by Michael R. Dobbs, Central Arkansas Chief of VAVS, and Margaret Robinson of the American Red Cross and Disabled American Veterans, according to a news release.

U.S.D. 1812 became an associate member of the NAC earlier this year and was recognized and for joining the agency. This was the first time U.S.D. 1812 received an invitation to the event, according to the release.

VAVS personnel from around the country and members of the NAC attended the conference. Attendees completed training and took part in workshops and discussion regarding volunteer recruitment and retention, donations, veterans’ needs and volunteers’ needs and accomplishments.

Awards were presented to volunteers and VAVS employees.

“VAVS NAC was established in 1947. The committee advises the Under Secretary for Health on matters pertaining to the participation of volunteers in VA medical facilities, assists in recruitment and orientation of volunteers and keeps the officers and members of participating organizations informed of volunteer needs and accomplishments,” according to a news release.

An estimated 400 people attended the conference. Other organizations represented included: American Gold Star Mothers, American Legion and Auxiliary, American Red Cross, Elks, Blue Star Mothers of America Inc., Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus, Marine Corps League and Auxiliary, Masonic Service Association of North America, Military Order of the Purple and Auxiliary, Sons of the American Revolution, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Salvation Army, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary and Vietnam Veterans of America.

For details on U.S.D. 1812, contact Kay Tatum, president of the Simon Bradford Chapter, which meets at Pine Bluff, at