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Operation Peer Support
Operation Peer Support (OPS) is a program designed to support the hundreds men and women who are returning to the US blinded or experiencing significant visual impairment in connection with their service fighting the Global War on Terror; Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
The initiative, which occurs in conjunction with the organization’s conventions, is an opportunity for the blinded service members and their families to meet others who now face the similar challenges in adjusting to life with vision loss.
The presentations, which occur in small group settings, focus on treatment and rehabilitation options, recent medical and rehabilitation research, locating resources, veterans benefits requirements and procedures, education opportunities, employment training, and introductions to newly released adaptive technologies, in addition to other topics of relevance to the veteran and their families. The activities also include recreational challenges that foster recovery and help veterans overcome their perceived limitations.
During the convention, the participants learn from one another and from veterans of past conflicts. They create a unique bond that typically lasts well beyond the conclusion of the convention. They often discover that despite their vision loss and other injuries one can lead a meaningful and productive lives. Operation Peer Support starts during the first few days of the convention but does not end at the conclusion of the week. Participants keep in touch via email and other resources, they and share information with the group as they become aware of such resources.
BVA attempts to raises funds to covers each participants expenses for the week. Each year more and more alumni finance their own trips to the convention to serve as mentors and continue the tradition of imparting knowledge to one another. We would like to sponsor all OIF/OEF veterans.
We seek your assistance raising the funds necessary so that we may extend an invitation to 22 blinded service members. Each invitation to a service member and companion is estimated to cost approximately $3,250. This includes hotel accommodations ($1,153 one room for 7 nights), Transportation ($450-600 per airline ticket), and Food for 7 days ($420 x 2).
A check or money order can be sent to the address on our contact us page or
Make A Donation to Operation Peer Support
New in 2009 International Exchange:
Two years ago, St. Dunstan’s and the Scottish War Blind, BVA’s counterpart in the United Kingdom, sent three blinded service members to participate in the Operation Peer Support Program. The same organizations recently contacted BVA about an exchange program in which six American blinded OIF or OEF veterans would visit their brothers in the United Kingdom. BVA looks forward to the implementation of such an exchange but at this time lacks the resources to fund and support such an initiative. Parties interested in providing financial support should contact Christina Hitchcock for additional information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Operation Peer Support?
Q: What is the benefit to the newly blinded veterans?
Q: How many troops have suffered eye injuries in the Global War on Terror?
Q: How can groups and individuals in America help a blinded OEF or OIF veteran?
Who are some of the recent Sponsors of Operation Peer Support?
Operation Peer Support 2010 Sponsors
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