DAR: Unsung heroes supporting veterans | News
There are some unsung heroes across Indiana who support our veterans: the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
The first DAR chapter was established in Indiana in 1894, which is the Caroline Scott Harrison Chapter. There are now 83 chapters across the state and 5,000 Hoosier DAR members.
During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the DAR started supporting Veterans by knitting and sewing hats, mittens, and socks. DAR members continue this tradition today. During the pandemic, DAR members made over one million masks which were provided to veterans and front-line workers. More than thirty thousand of these were created in Indiana.
DAR supports our Hoosier Veterans in a number of ways. DAR Members care for veterans in the VA hospitals, at home, and in long-term care facilities.
Additional efforts include supporting homeless veterans through the collection and dispersement of t-shirts, underwear, and socks, which is ongoing throughout the year. There are numerous annual Veteran events where the DAR partners with other VSOs in a variety of supportive capacities.
Our active duty military is supported by packages shipped overseas and the DAR has sent over two million dollars worth of coupons for commissaries to active duty bases around the world (the commissaries will accept these coupons even if expired).
Countless commemorative certificates, awards, and scholarships to individuals and students have been awarded by DAR chapters, honoring deserving individuals for their contribution to our communities.
Support by DAR may resemble a thoughtful neighbor by mowing the lawn for a Veteran serving abroad, and many more gestures of kindness large and small — most of which happens without knowledge of who did this.
Through memorial services on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and other remembrance occasions such as supporting POW | MIA organizations, the DAR daughters call the attention to those we have lost through selfless service to our country.
The DAR is an official commemorative partner with the VA.
DAR also supports the Library of Congress by interviewing as many Hoosier Veterans as possible, providing audio and video interviews to record our important military history.
Wreath-laying at old or new monuments is evidence of a DAR member being involved in a ceremony. And let’s not forget the food!
Daughters of the Revolution provide tons of food each year for many Veteran events statewide. DAR is always there to add the hospitality angle, including wreaths, and are usually behind the scenes with the visual appearance of an event by providing food and logistical support, including set up and clean up.
A recent example of DAR efforts includes this summer’s Gold Star Family Memorial dedication ceremony in May and the Korean War brick ceremony, both held on the grounds of the Indiana War Memorial.
In addition to organizing food and refreshments, DAR is probably best known for its “genies”, or genealogists. DAR genies found 116 of the missing Hoosier Veterans from the Korean War and recovered most of their photos, which were featured on placards at the dedication.
Thousands of hours of their time was spent on this worthwhile effort. The importance of remembrance is that the service of these Veterans is important. It reflects that these veterans matter.
DAR women are essentially the boots on the ground for many efforts to support Veterans.
Another extremely important project that DAR chapters across the state are engaging in is, “Welcome Home Hoosier Veterans”. The Indiana Vietnam Veterans Gift is hand-delivered and presented in-person at events, pick-up locations and to homebound Veterans.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The special services and events will happen across the country with DAR members involved. The purpose of these events is to remember and reflect.
Since the first U.S. DAR chapter was established in 1890 national formed, as a rule, DAR daughters don’t discuss politics and they don’t discuss religion. They are dedicated to the retention and preservation of American History and teaching military history is especially important. It’s the basis upon which our country was formed.