Letters to the Editor...


Kudos for Region I Field Service Representative


One day last fall I met our BVA Field Service Representative, Ed Eckroth, and VIST Coordinator Maria Grimes at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. Ed was speaking to veterans about VA claims, BVA, and other issues relevant to blinded veterans.

I told Ed about a claim I had and the fact that VA had closed it without telling me. I told him that I thought I had not been treated fairly by those who work in claims. Ed told me that he would look into the claim once he returned to Philadelphia and, true to his word, he contacted me shortly thereafter.

Ed asked for a new Power of Attorney so that he could look over my claim and make BVA my representative once again. He submitted a new claim and I soon after received a new Disability Compensation and Pension Benefits (C and P) exam. Ed told me then that he thought I had an excellent chance of getting service connection based on my old military eye exams and the results of the C and P exam. Just last week I received word by mail that a new finding had granted me a service connection.

Thank you, Ed Eckroth and BVA, for your work on my behalf and for really helping me out when I needed it most.

Thomas A. Doyle
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Guide Dogs for the Blind Salutes BVA on 65 Years


“Guide Dogs for the Blind” congratulates the members of BVA on the Association’s landmark 65th anniversary. Because our organization was also founded to assist World War II blinded veterans, we feel a special connection with you.

Today we offer skilled mobility dogs, in-residence training, and lifelong support services free of charge to individuals who are blind or visually impaired throughout the United States and Canada. Through the years, we’ve provided canine partners to more than 11,000 people, including thousands of veterans.

We salute you for all of your selfless service to our country and look forward to your visits to our campuses.

Terry Barrett
Director of Training Operations
Guide Dogs for the Blind

Persistence Pays Off, Brings Legislative Victory


It is with great pleasure and admiration that I thank our Legislative Director Tom Zampieri for the fantastic, spectacular job he has done in seeing through the passage of H.R. 3485, the Veterans Pensions Protection Act (which was attached to H.R. 3219, Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010).

This bill was sent to President Obama for signature on October 1 and signed two weeks later. With only a little nudging from some of us up here in New York, Tom and his predecessors worked hard for more than 15 painstaking years to get this legislation through both houses of Congress.

Thank you, Tom, for your persistence! Thank you from a very grateful blinded veteran.

Ralph L. Chinelly
Rochester, New York