WASHINGTON, D.C.  (February 12, 2018) – The Academy of United States Veterans announced today that Travis McVey, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Founder of Heroes Vodka, will be the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the 4th Annual Veterans Awards (The Vettys) to be hosted on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The 2019 Vettys are to be held in partnership with Disabled American Veterans, a veteran service organization that ensures veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them. DAV helps more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year by providing more than 670,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assisting veterans with more than 250,000 benefit claims annually. In 2016 alone, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits to care for veterans, their families and survivors.

Mr. McVey will assemble a Board of Governors that will preserve the integrity of the voting process of the 4th Annual Veterans awards and ensure that its visibility to the community is met. As chairman of the board, he will ensure that ballots are submitted in a timely manner in order to elect the most eligible honoree for the designated category. The black-tie gala will honor 6+ individuals and organizations who have demonstrated relentless dedication and selfless service to the veteran community and their families. The 2019 Honorees will be announced as the Vettys date impends. 

“The Vettys measures and highlights the greatness of the veterans’ community not because of the power of our automatic weapons, or the size of our military, but because of the quality and integrity that embodies each service member. Our humble pride represents men and women from all walks of life who come together to fulfill the mission of public service through their selfless voluntarism long after the uniform is hung in the closet. Travis McVey represents the best of this community, and his service to our brothers and sisters even after his honorable service in the United States Marine Corps sets an example for all Americans as a leader and a true public servant. We are better off for the service of this courageous and unselfish leader. I congratulate Travis on his success and look forward to the 4th Annual Veterans Awards under his leadership as the Vettys Chairman of the Board of Governors,” said Assal Ravandi, President and CEO of the Academy of United States Veterans.

The honorees will be presented with a coveted Vetty statuette. The Vettys statuette is a custom-designed bronzed military boot placed on a sturdy base that signifies the boots on the ground work of the Veterans Service Organizations. The base of the Vettys statuette represents such organizations and individuals that demonstrate a strong foundation.

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran & Founder of Heroes Vodka, Travis McVey, proudly served as a Presidential Honor Guard from 1989-1992. He is an innovative and determined entrepreneur that endured the life-changing tragedy of a good friend dying in combat in the War Against Terror in Afghanistan. The experience paved the way for Travis to realize the American dream of owning a business, a business that would enable him to continue to serve his country. Travis's vision was to develop a brand to partner with well-known Veteran organizations. His mission was to help Veterans get the care they deserve. With Heroes Vodka, Travis's dream has become a reality. Heroes Vodka was first bottled on Veteran's Day, 11.11.11, a date that occurs only once in a century and epitomizes the rarity of this event. As the "Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation," the mission of Heroes Vodka is to deliver exceptional taste and superior value to consumers, while honoring Veterans and other American service organizations through charitable contributions.

“I’m truly honored to be chosen as the new Chairman for the Board of Governors for The Vettys and to be able to work with the Academy of United States Veterans. Ideas are not protected by words. Paper may outline the foundation and principles of this nation, but it is blood that protects it. The veteran community has giving so much for not only our nation but for all the nations of the world. It is because of these selfless brave men and women that we all enjoy the freedoms we too often take for granted. We send our best, and sometimes lose them, in the fight against the worst this world has to offer. We have these freedoms because the best among us, the best we have ever had to offer, fought, bled, and died for it. We should never forget that!  As the new Chairman it is my goal to tell their stories and honor them with more than just a “Thank You for Your Service.” We owe them the respect their sacrifice deserves and although we can never repay that debt the VETTYS is a way for us to tell their stories and honor them in the best way we can,” said Travis McVey, Founder of Heroes Vodka and the new Chairman of the Board of Governors for the 4th Annual Veterans Awards (The Vettys)

Every year, The Vettys donates 50 percent of its profits to several VSOs. DAV will be the first among the 2019 VSOs to benefit from the Vettys.

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About Disabled American Veterans

DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. They accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible.