Wisconsin Legionnaire recognized for VA volunteer efforts
Daniel Jakubezyk of American Legion Post 434 in Oak Creek, Wis., was awarded The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service Worker of the Year during the Washington Conference on Feb. 26. Photo by Jennifer Blohm/The American Legion 

Wisconsin Legionnaire recognized for VA volunteer efforts

On Jan. 2, 2009, Daniel Jakubezyk became a volunteer representative at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center in Wisconsin thanks to his wife, Bonnie. She made the decision to volunteer, and Jakubezyk said he would join her. Now, 15 years later, Legionnaire Jakubezyk continues to volunteer at the Milwaukee VA and was recognized for his dedicated service to veterans by being awarded The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service (VAVS) Worker of the Year.

American Legion National Commander Daniel J. Seehafer presented Jakubezyk with the award on Feb. 26 during the Legion’s Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission meeting held in the nation’s capital for the organization’s 64th Washington Conference.  

“We talk about a servant heart, that’s exactly what we’re talking about (with Jakubezyk),” Seehafer said to commission members. “It’s about the heart, and that’s what does separate us from other organizations of who we are. Even though that uniform might be put away, we continue to serve. And it’s because of God and Country.”

Jakubezyk served in the Air Force during Vietnam and is a 55-year member of The American Legion, with 48 of those years at Post 434 in Oak Creek, Wis. As part of his volunteer efforts at the Milwaukee VA, Jakubezyk provides comfort to veterans at the end of their life through the VA’s No Veteran Dies Alone program.

“Volunteering at the VA has been something I have to do, it’s in my blood,” Jakubezyk said in his acceptance remarks, adding that his wife “has everything to do with it. I count myself as a bit of a history buff and let me tell you, I have had a history lesson like you wouldn’t believe by talking to these veterans.

“I’m going to continue (volunteering) as long as the good Lord let’s me. I may be getting up there in age but as long as I can make it to the VA, I will still be doing this.”

In closing, Jakubezyk said there’s two things he has to do – “see my fellow veterans at least once a week” and give blood monthly. He had donated 62 gallons of blood. “It’s a good feeling because you know you’re helping your fellow human beings.”