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PVA's Big Push

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News April 2013

April is known as PVA Awareness Month, a nationwide celebration of this organization's efforts to change lives and build futures.

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Birthdays are usually a time when we pause and celebrate. This April, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) marks 67 years of changing lives and building brighter futures for veterans and their families. April is known as PVA Awareness Month.

We have a great deal to celebrate: passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, delivering bipartisan support for historic levels of funding for quality Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare, pioneering wheelchair sports, and investing more than $100 million in research.

All PVA members and supporters should feel especially proud of the success we’ve achieved, and it’s truly worth taking a moment in this PVA Awareness Month to savor the countless victories we’ve brought about.

But, we mustn’t be complacent. We still face challenging times. Two issues with possible massive consequences are government funding cuts that will impact veterans and a disabled veterans’ unemployment rate that is three to eight times higher than average.

Because of these and other concerns, I invite you to rally round PVA Awareness Month to increase and intensify our efforts. We have miles and miles to go before we can rest. 

As part of this awareness push, I’ll be traveling across our nation doing interviews, visiting with injured veterans and their families, meeting members, and recruiting new supporters.

Expect to see me in New York; Detroit; Tampa, Fla.; Houston; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Los Angeles and other cities. Join me to help raise awareness of the plight veterans are facing!

My goal will be to enlist as many Americans as possible — citizens, communities and companies — as supporters of PVA’s Mission: ABLE campaign. It’s been specifically designed to help paralyzed veterans and their families live full, independent and productive lives and to receive what they need most: care, benefits and jobs.

My objective is to inform the public regarding PVA’s work — the fact that we’re the only organization that:

-         Fights for all veterans

-         Advocates for quality VA healthcare and decent veterans benefits

-         Strives to make America more accessible

-         Empowers veterans with the tools they need to secure good careers

-         Invests in research to find new treatments and a cure for paralysis

-         Promotes and provides wheelchair sports

-         Delivers our services to all veterans for free, thanks to the support of our donors

But, I need you to lend a hand with this gigantic endeavor. We need every chapter member to go the extra mile to do everything in their power to raise awareness in the community about the challenges facing veterans with disabilities and their families.

Encourage the folks you meet to put themselves in our wheelchairs for a minute and imagine the barriers we face. Encourage everyone you know to make helping veterans part of their everyday undertaking by taking a stand for those who have served and sacrificed.

Perhaps you can lead by example in your neighborhood and say that all-important word, “thanks,” to a paralyzed veteran just returning home from Afghanistan.

Something that may seem insignificant, such as encouraging your local leaders to make your town more wheelchair accessible or persuading a local employer to hire veterans with disabilities, can have a positive outcome.

I realize that for many of us, awareness month is every month when it comes to spreading the word about PVA. Accept my deep appreciation for your efforts and my thanks for everything you continue to do for America’s paralyzed veterans.

Please remember to visit a hospitalized veteran or a VA nursing home this month and reassure our fellow veterans that we are still out there fighting on their behalf, especially during April, PVA Awareness Month. 

 

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PVA's Big Push

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