Major General Melvin J. Mass Achievement Award

The Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award is the most prestigious award which the BVA presents. This award is presented annually at the Awards Banquet of the BVA National Convention to the veteran, with service-connected blindness, who has proven himself/herself outstanding in his/her field of employment and in his/her adjustment to daily living.

The Maas Award was initiated by the late Bayard H. Kendrick, the famous mystery writer and author of Lights Out, the story of a World War II blinded veteran.  This award is named in honor of the well-known U.S. Marine General who was an early president of the Blinded Veterans Association and was Chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped at the time of his death.
From the beginning, presentation of the Maas Award has contributed to the enhancement of a positive image of blind people and to the elimination of the perception of helplessness.

During the January/February time period of each year, the BVA National Headquarters sends out letters soliciting nominations for the Maas Award, such nominations to be submitted usually by not later than mid-April.


 PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS OF MAJOR GENERAL MELVIN J. MAAS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
(SINCE 1947)


The Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award is presented annually to the veteran with service-connected blindness who has proven himself/herself outstanding in his/her field of employment and in his/her adjustment to daily living. The veteran nominated must have legal blindness rated as service-connected by the Department of Veterans Affairs or by the service in which the veteran served

Major General Melvin J. Maas was a Marine General who was an early president of the Blinded Veterans Association. From the beginning, presentation of the award has contributed to the enhancement of a positive image of blind people and to the elimination of the concept of helplessness.


            1947 Leonard Shelhamer
            1948 Thomas C. Atkeson
            1949 Orlando A. Milano
            1950 Paul R. Grant
            1951 Hilliard F. Kirby
            1952 Jesse S. Castillo
            1953 Russell C. Williams
            1954 Charles A. Boswell
            1955 Criss Cole
            1956 James L. Womack
            1957 Welker O. Shue
            1958 Vincent L. Lopez
            1959 Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr.
            1960 Walter F. Stromer
            1961 Hez J. Bussey
            1962 H. Smith Shumway
            1963 Bob Cowley Riley
            1964 John E. Hodgin
            1965 Thomas C. Hasbrook
            1966 Orlando A. Milano
            1967 Richard C. Nooe
            1968 Paul Duke
            1969 George E. Stocking
            1970 Donald H. Wedewer
            1971 Thomas A. Dargie
            1972 Michael A. Naranjo, Jr.
            1973 John Amaniera, Jr.
            1974 Salvatore D'Amico
            1975 Michael W. Johnson
            1976 E. Sid Allen
            1977 Irvin P. Schloss
            1978 Charles A. Boswell
            1979 George M. Gillispie
            1980 Dennis R. Wyant
            1981 George Woody Stafford
            1982 Jerry R. Monroe
            1983 Ronald L. Miller
            1984 Ellsworth L. Sharpe
            1985 William W. Thompson
            1986 Clayton E. Simons, Sr.
            1987 Joe W. Burns
            1988 Robert A. Bottenberg
            1989 Buddy B. Spivey
            1990 J. Dennis Cadigan
            1991 Don E. Garner
            1992 Stephen C. Maguire
            1993 Carl L. Kirksey
            1994 William H. Fullerton, Jr.
            1995 Ernie Flynn
            1996 Michael D. Burton
            1997 Elizabeth R. Carr
            1998 David M. Szumowski
            1999 Dennis M. Lewis
            2000 Clifford D. Phillips
            2001 Vito DeSantis
            2002 Wilbert Vandenbos
            2003 Dr. Sidney Ordway
            2004 Reverend Robert "Dale" Stamper
            2005 George Brummell
            2006 Randolph H. Greene
            2007 Peter Link
            2008 Roy E. Young
            2009 Dr. Roy Kekahuna
            2010 Loyal Eugene Apple
            2011 Dan Standage
            2012 Thomas L. Hicks
            2013 Joe Parker