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Local DAV gives up charter

By By Melissa Cason
The Russellville chapter of the Disabled American Veterans voluntarily gave up their charter this week because of very low membership numbers.
DAV member Fletcher Scott said that there were only four active members in the organization, and they decided to close the chapter because there was no interest from the younger soldiers to join and participate in the organization.
The group cleared its building, located on Franklin Street in Russellville, over the weekend, and a lot of the photographs and other items were given to the Franklin County Archives.
"We let any member go in and get anything that was there before we donated the items to the Archives," Scott said.
He added that there was a portion of items thrown away due to rain damage from exposure under a leaking roof.
"We threw away anything that could not be salvaged from the building," Scott said.
He added that the building was in very poor condition and will be condemned by the city, which contributed to the group's decision to voluntarily disband.
The Russellville chapter of the DAV originated in 1930, but has not had an active role in the community in more than a decade.
"The last 10 years has been a struggle," Scott said. "We did some fundraising but with only four members, we were limited."
Fellow member Philip Wyatt said that while he hated to see the organization disband, it was a relief to him because there were very few members, which limited the organization's work in the community.
According to the National Web site, the Disabled American Veterans began in the wake of World War I, when an unprepared America was unable to care for its soldiers injured in battle.
Archives Director Chris Ozbirn said that she welcomes the items from the DAV, and that it will be available for viewing as soon as it is cataloged and placed in its permanent place in the archives building.