Reach out to a veteran without sight—be a hero!
As you know, BVA has been serving blinded veterans since WWII. BVA's motto is: Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans. Our service men and women put their lives on the line again and again. They have an undying passion to serve.
I share that passion. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in Operation Desert Storm and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My last deployment with the National Guard ended after 22 months when a roadside bomb struck our patrol near Fallujah. But I wouldn't come to understand the full extent of my injuries until I began to experience headaches, vertigo and vision loss. Even though I did not receive shrapnel in my eyes, the shock waves from the explosion caused unseen damage.
The thing is — that wasn't the first blast I'd endured. The injuries to my vision were caused by 10 blasts at close range from mortar attacks, rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised explosive devices over the course of my military service. Our eyes are not meant to take these shocks. There are thousands of veterans, just like me, who have been exposed to repeated blasts and are now experiencing vision loss. They need our help.
And that's why I'm writing to you today. Your generous Independence Day gift means the Blinded Veterans Association will be there to help these veterans adjust to their blindness and regain their independence. BVA will assist them in getting the services, claims and benefits to which they are entitled. But BVA can only do this if you are there to help.
Today, BVA is advocating for research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of blindness due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) among our military veterans. The health information tracked through the Veterans Administration can be used to improve our understanding of TBI-related vision loss so that symptoms will be recognized and treated before vision is permanently lost. BVA was chartered by Congress to be the official voice for blinded veterans, and we need your help. Click the button below to make a gift to BVA, ensuring that our free programs and services remain available to those that need them.
You know, every generation of my family has served in our military beginning with the American Revolution! So you can imagine that it bothers me when people go by our beloved flag, and they don't really pay attention to it. It means so much to me, but others often just take it for granted. It's time we appreciate what we have and realize how easily it can be lost.
Make this July 4th truly meaningful. While you're enjoying your backyard barbeque with friends and family, and watching the fireworks, give some thought to those who have sacrificed their vision in service to our country. Give our blinded veterans what they need to regain their independence.
Thank you for your continued support.
Eric Marts, Master Sergeant (Ret.)