Letters to the Editor...
Gem RG Offers White Cane Info
The return of our servicemen and women who may have lost their sight in Iraq or Afghanistan make it more important today than ever before to educate the public about vision rehabilitation programs for veterans and all citizens.
The Gem State Regional Group (Idaho) has expanded its traditional October 15 White Cane Day Safety activities to include events at health fairs and retirement centers. The annual Wal-Mart Community Health Fair in the city of Meridian, Idaho, is but one example of our outreach.
Art and Linda Motz reach out to the public through their regional group's White Cane educational table inside Meridian, Idaho Wal-Mart. Behind Art and Linda is Fair Director Trudi Dewey.
In addition, the focus of our content in the past has been limited to the issues surrounding legal blindness. More recently, however, we have become prepared to answer questions related to all forms of visual impairment, questions about ongoing research, and inquiries regarding where to look for support. We are also prepared to provide information about available low-vision devices and other exciting technology.
We urge all BVA regional groups to participate in White Cane Day activities in their communities. Please feel free to contact me for information about our program at 208-362-2854 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We must absolutely share as much information as possible about the issues affecting blinded veterans. There are far too many people out there who are totally unaware of such issues.
Serving Others Makes Difference
I am writing an open column to fellow vets, hoping they will be inspired to do something more than hang around and complain.
My wife, Nancy, and I live on the west coast of Florida, where we run a modest food pantry for honorably discharged veterans. Some years ago we joined a hungry aid homeless coalition and decided to try helping out a few folks who were in particular need of groceries. We currently service 19 families on an as-needed basis.
It is a slow process to effectively let others know about our desire to help out. Trust is always an issue, but we are working on earning it from everyone concerned. Our local Citrus County Veterans Coalition is funding this program and funds are being accepted from anyone wishing to help keep the program going.
The children of downtrodden vets, who are often the working poor, are the particular victims. It is a good feeling to be able to deliver a hundred or so pounds of food to those who truly need it. Yes, the 104-mile round trip to the food bank is a bit of a sacrifice, but it is worth it.
Other programs in this area, such as lawn mowing for the severely disabled, have also flourished. We need more people to get off the sofa and start serving mankind! And, yes, I am totally blind myself.
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