Blinded Veterans Day 2017

National Blinded Veterans Day March 28 Recognizing 72nd Anniversary

Warm Greetings and Happy New Year to BVA Regional Group Officers, Staff, Board Members, and Chapter Officers.

On April 7 of 2010, President Obama signed House Joint Resolution 80 congratulating BVA on its 65th anniversary. The resolution had been drafted and introduced by then Representative Debbie Halvorson (D-IL-11) in early March and passed the House of Representatives on March 18.

With major assistance from then Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-HI), the resolution was also approved in the full Senate on March 26, the day before Congress adjourned for Easter recess.

Besides acknowledging the Association’s humble beginnings and 65-year history, the resolution also calls upon all Americans to remember “National Blinded Veterans Day” on March 28 in future years.

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki also wrote a letter to Tom Miller, BVA Executive Director at the time, offering “warm best wishes to you and all members of BVA on the occasion of your organization’s 65th anniversary.”

Secretary Shinseki continued: “On behalf of the Department, and as a fellow veteran, thank you for your service from a grateful nation and for the inspiration your membership has given to all who serve in the defense of freedom. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many more years of success representing blinded veterans.”

Although as an organization we have commemorated this event from within and rather privately since 2010, we have not invited our fellow Americans to remember National Blinded Veterans Day on March 28. We wish to extend our outreach this year by inviting our BVA regional groups, their chapters, VIST Support Groups, and Board members to inform their communities of these unique Congressional resolutions that permanently established Blinded Veterans Day nationally on March 28, the day of our founding in 1945.

Please click here to find attached a number of supporting documents to assist in this effort, among them Blinded Veterans Day March 28 Proclamation.docx. This is perhaps the most significant of all of the documents as it provides specific suggestions to you, our members and constituents, with a sample resolution that could be issued or passed by a local legislative body anywhere in the country. We have also included a sample press release with an open paragraph filled with “x’s” in which local information can be inserted, copies of both the House and Senate resolutions passed in 2010, and two documents that outline BVA’s achievements. Although both of the achievement documents communicate similar ideas, one of the two documents lists BVA’s accomplishments in bullet form and the other document is a narrative history. If the press release is used, local groups may wish to use a local contact rather than Stuart Nelson.

Thank you very much for your collaboration in this effort to celebrate and commemorate BVA’s long history of service to our Nation’s blinded veterans. Please contact any one of us if you have any questions.

Paul Mimms, National Secretary

Dr. Thomas Zampieri, Director District 6

Stuart Nelson, Manager of Communications

3/28/2017 - 3/28/2017

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