Letters to the Editor...


Digital Reading Machines


Blinded veterans were to be the first to receive the new digital talking book machines. I was told that they would go to those who had used the service for the longest time and those who read the most books. I have been using the talking book services for more than 40 years and read between 100-150 books per year. Yet, it took me longer than I expected to receive my machine and for a time I could not obtain a response as to when it would arrive.

I am wondering if other veterans have faced the same problem. Using the Bulletin, BVA can provide a great service by letting blinded veterans know about the new machine and asking them to report back if they have not received their machine.

I understand there are four digital reading machines that are available for purchase that will read the NLS digital books. My VIST Coordinator is researching which of the four is most reliable and user friendly. Once I have that information, I will be requesting the item through VIST Prothetics.

Maybe the Bulletin could inform us regarding the pros and cons of the four machines that are available and reveal which one is being issued by VIST Prosthetics. Thanks for all your good work and for keeping us apprised of current events and issues. I look forward to the next BVA Bulletin.

Dennis R. Wyant
Past National President
Melbourne, Florida

Blood Level Test Strips


I have recently encountered a problem that I have been told is fairly universal.

VA, of course, has been very generous with me. I have received eyeglasses, white canes, a CCTV, and magnifiers, all of which improve my quality of life. 
My most recent item received is the “prodigy talking glucometer.” In my case, I use the device to determine what my blood sugar level is. I then inject insulin and wait a couple of hours, followed by still another test and injection if the level is still too high. This process is repeated two hours later and then again at night.

These tests, administered several times daily, require six test strips per day or 180 per month.

Unfortunately, my understanding is that VA will provide only 50 strips per month to the individual veteran. Noting again VA’s otherwise great generosity, I consider this regulation to be very strange.

I have discovered that a firm in New York State will sell these strips directly to veterans who are in a situation like mine. Please contact Stuart Nelson at BVA National Headquarters for further information.

Earl James Ryan
Anaheim, California

Constitutional Literacy No Longer Top Priority


I am sure my comments here have been discussed many times but, because of their seriousness, I still think they merit repeating. As a Korean War era service-connected blinded veteran who is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Korean War Veterans Association, I feel at least somewhat qualified to make these assertions.

The principles of our United States Constitution are not being taught in schools, as far as I can determine. If they are being taught, they are not being learned by our students.

I believe that our nation’s founding principles should be taught in-depth from the first grade all the way through university graduation. I think it is just that important.

I also believe that magazines distributed by VFW, the American Legion, and BVA, along with the history of the wars this country has fought, should be mandatory reading in the schools. And the subjects covered in these publications should be regular reading for all of us.

It really worries me when students from other countries know more about our history and what our Constitution means than do our own children. I hope there is a way our government and concerned citizens can address this issue with our national and local educators.

William B. Stedman
Hyde Park, New York