On June 25th and 26th, Congressman Raul Ruiz hosted Veterans University at the Cal State-San Bernardino campus in Palm Desert. Congressman Raul Ruiz, MDA first of its kind in the nation, Veterans University assembled an array of notable speakers who arrived from all over Southern California to present valuable information and solutions to local area veterans. With reservations for the event exceeding the campus auditorium’s 400-seat capacity, an auxiliary room equipped with a live broadcast screen was set up in advance to accommodate the more than 100 additional attendees. The event was also streamed live via Social Media.

Along with presentations made by various regional, county, and state veterans offices, our own Palm Springs chapter of the Disabled American Veterans was well represented. Len Bradshaw, Chapter Communications and Public Relations Officer, and Chad Shipley, Adjutant and Veteran Service Officer, were invited by the Congressman to present on the topic of “VA Claims and Appeals.” The information they provided was insightful and very well received. You can view their presentation by clicking here.

The overwhelming success of Congressman Ruiz’ Veterans University underscores the need for assistance felt by all veterans as they navigate the myriad of benefits earned while honorably serving their country.



At their regular monthly meeting on April 2nd, 2016, members of California’s Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 66 in Palm Springs were surprised by the appearance of a very special guest. Scroll below for more photosFollowing an invitation extended to him just two weeks earlier, Mayor Robert Moon showed up at the meeting with his husband of eight years, Bob Hammack.

The reason for the invitation was two-fold: First, the group wanted to familiarize Mayor Moon with the DAV organization and all that it does to help local Palm Springs area veterans. Second, and perhaps more important, they wanted to reach out to the Mayor in order to begin a synergistic relationship between the city of Palm Springs and the DAV organization. Their hope is that together they can assist even more local area veterans secure their earned benefits and otherwise live more fulfilling lives.

Mayor Moon, a veteran himself, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He served as an officer in the United States Navy for 22 years, retiring with the rank of Commander. During those 22 years of commissioned service he spent 14+ years at sea, including multiple tours in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Mediterranean, as well as most of the Atlantic and Pacific regions. While in the Navy his tours ashore included budget manager for the Vice Chief of Naval Operations for Surface Warfare and as the Deputy Director of Operations and Director of Information Technology for the Office of Naval Research.

Following a formal slideshow presentation, local Palm Springs DAV Chapter 66 Commander Frank Gillette awarded the Mayor with an honorary lifetime membership to the national organization. He also presented the mayor with a tee shirt bearing the Palm Springs DAV Chapter’s new logo. (Click here to view the presentation.)

Local Disabled American Veterans Chapter 66 is now anxiously waiting to hear back from Mayor Moon to learn how the city of Palm Springs plans on assisting them as they support and aid as many Palm Springs area veterans as possible.

Mayor Robert Moon’s Visit to California’s DAV Chapter 66

~ written by Len Bradshaw, California DAV Chapter 66 Media Content Developer


Beginning in March, Chad Shipley will be available for VA benefits counseling on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at the S.O.S. Military Information Center and Boutique, located at 77851 Las Montanas Road, Suite A, in Palm Desert, CA. As a qualified DAV Chapter Service Officer, Chad will be able to answer questions regarding benefits available to all veterans and soon-to-be veterans, as well as provide assistance in securing and completing the necessary forms to obtain them. His hours will be from 10am until 1pm.

Also beginning in March and running through April, S.O.S. will be hosting a weekly Rummage Sale. Each Saturday between the hours of 10am and 4pm you’ll find unequaled bargains in the back of the store, including clothing, household goods, linens, decorator items, toys, and maybe even some jewelry. Everything placed outside can be had for the incredibly low price of just one dollar. What’s best is that all funds raised go to their non-profit S.O.S. transportation system, which provides “free rides home” to Coachella Valley active-duty military personnel.

During the week, all active-duty military, as well as veterans, receive a 20% discount off their entire purchase. Boutique hours are from 10am until 4pm. Those who are homeless, or anyone in dire need, can receive one new outfit of clothing per month – free of charge.

S.O.S. is a 501C(3) non-profit organization providing active-duty servicemen and women with free transportation, any day or night, between the Palm Springs and Ontario International Airports, and the USMC base at Twenty Nine Palms, CA. Services are also offered to families, spouses, and sweethearts who visit their servicemen and women, whether returning, deploying, recovering or just visiting. S.O.S. volunteers offer hope, encouragement, gratitude and respect to military personnel prior to an uncertain deployment. For more information you can call SOS directly at (760) 799-5488, or visit their website at