DAV (Disabled American Veterans) has named Clara Lewis of Big Spring, Texas, the 2019 DAV Auxiliary George H. Seal Memorial Trophy recipient. DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon and DAV Auxiliary National Commander Ellen Timmerman presented the award at the organizations’ 98th National Convention Aug. 3 in Orlando, Florida.
Each year, the prestigious George H. Seal Memorial Trophy honors one DAV and DAV Auxiliary member who have gone above and beyond in their service through the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) Program.
“Like so many DAV Auxiliary members, Ms. Lewis developed a passion for working with veterans when her own husband was injured,” said Timmerman. “It has turned into her life’s work, and she has touched the lives of countless veterans through her decades of compassionate service.”
Lewis began her 44-year volunteering career when her late husband, a Vietnam veteran, was receiving care at the West Texas Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. During her tenure, she has dedicated nearly 44,000 hours of her own time to veterans, the DAV Auxiliary and the VA staff. At 86-years-old, she’s not slowing down anytime soon, as she still volunteers for at least seven hours each day.
“It is an absolute honor to present this award to Ms. Lewis,” said Nixon. “She is a shining example of what it means to truly serve our nation’s veterans.”
Lewis frequently uses her standing to recruit other volunteers and organizations to give time to West Texas veterans, and has become an indispensable part of the local veterans community.
“We often refer to Miss Clara as a force of nature comparable to the famous West Texas winds,” said West Texas VA Health Care System Voluntary Services program manager Sheila Austin. “She is an unwavering supporter of veterans and a trusted advisor to the executive leadership team.”
Lewis volunteers throughout the health care system, dedicating her time to support mental health services, the community living center, voluntary services office and the information desk.