Plaque Honors Servant Of Blinded Veterans

By Charlie “CT” Vasile​

Joe Hennessey will be remembered by plaque to be displayed at Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center in Tucson.

Joe Hennessey will be remembered by plaque to be displayed at Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center in Tucson.

Joe Hennessey proudly served blinded veterans for 32 years. He is another servant of blinded veterans that we will never be able to forget, no matter how long he is gone.

During his tenure, he was Chief of the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center in Palo Alto, California, from 1982 to 1992, and was the founding Chief of the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center in Tucson, Arizona, from 1992 to 2000. Along the way Joe made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of blinded veterans and those who serve them. As a result, his friends and co-workers across the nation have established the Joe Hennessey Fund to provide recreational activities for veterans at the Tucson Center in memory of Joe’s friendship and lifelong commitment.

A plaque referencing this honor will be placed within the Center’s facility on a date yet to be determined. The plaque will include an epitaph of Joe and his memorial picture. Below his picture the following statement will appear: In memory of JOSEPH JOHN PATRICK HENNESSEY, October 26, 1942-February 28, 2016.

Donations to the Hennessey Fund can be made to: SAVAHCS-SWBRC Hennessey Fund. The Fund’s Control Point number is 6664. This CP number 6664 should be put in the memo on a check or money order. Donations are tax deductible and should be sent to:

Voluntary Service (9-135)
3601 South 6th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85745

Donations will be applied toward the BRC recreational outings and activities. They will provide the veteran trainees at the center with more opportunities to practice their newly learned independent rehabilitation skills while participating in and enjoying experiences such as barbecuing, fishing, water and snow skiing, camping, kayaking, golfing, bowling, baseball, and attending sporting events and concerts—to name just a few.

Joe loved participating in as many of the veterans’ holiday, weekend, and after-hours events and activities that he could attend. He loved seeing veterans at the events with smiles on their faces while independently utilizing their newly learned skills and techniques. Joe knew that many of the veterans entering the BRC program mistakenly believed that living an independent life was over due to their sight loss. He loved and enjoyed observing the outcome of his rehab teams. Such teams helped veterans realize that their sight loss could be converted to a positive, safe, independent, and equal life wherever they should choose to live or travel.

Audio Version Of Plaque To Honor Servant Of Blinded Veterans