Looking Back At 2016

Reprinted from PN December 2016

The passing of a legendary PVA leader, a pair of 70-year anniversaries and a "princely" competition were among the many highlights of 2016

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We’ve made it to the end of another year, and what a year it’s been. There have been numerous ups and downs throughout the country and across the globe. 

As the clock ticks down to the new year, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the changes, both good and bad, we’ve seen throughout 2016. Time to clean the engine and prepare for the road ahead, wherever it may lead.

Paralyzed Veterans of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter member Jesse Graham won bronze medals in the 100- and 400-meter 2016 Invictus Games track events. Photo Christopher Di Virgilio.

For Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), 2016 yielded many reasons to celebrate. However, it was also a year the organization mourned the loss of one of its most influential leaders.

There are too many important moments to highlight them all, but here are some of the more memorable events of 2016.

70 Years of Care & Service

Seven decades have passed since a group of veterans with spinal-cord injuries (SCI) laid the groundwork for the creation of PVA. 

In 1946, World War II was over but recovery was just beginning for veterans being treated in ward 3D at the Bronx Veterans Hospital in New York. They wanted a way to share news with other veterans with SCI and medical professionals in the hopes of making their care better. 

Their four-page inaugural issue of The Paraplegia News outlined their intent to “organize a paraplegic association” to keep the paper going and properly present their “ideas or complaints” to the hospital manager.

Last July marked 70 years since the first meeting was held to elect local officers.

Since that time, PVA has grown from just eight groups to 34 chapters and more than 70 offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

Now serving an estimated 100,000 veterans with spinal-cord injury or disease (SCI/D), PVA has departments that handle advocacy and legislation, sports and recreation, health and wellness, awareness, education and research and employment, just to name a few. 

Trained national service officers are also available to help veterans obtain and protect their benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

PVA has clearly been a catalyst for improved care of veterans with SCI/D over the past 70 years, but the organization also has impacted the lives of all people with disabilities through the strength of its advocacy and various programs.


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Looking Back At 2016


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