19 February, 2006

Valour-IT Update

[If you are a new reader, please check out the links under the heading "Valour-IT Posts" on the sidebar to learn how powerful this program can be in the recovery of wounded warriors whose hand and arm injuries prevent the use of a standard computer.]

As I've mentioned here before, Project Valour-IT has been expanding exponentially. The Sponsor a Wounded Soldier program was created under Valour-IT to match up donors with wounded soldiers who would appreciate knowing they haven't been forgotten throughout their recovery period. This has resulted in our better getting out the word to wounded warriors who can benefit from Valour-IT, and so we are averaging several requests a day.

But the requests are piling up, and many more donations and "adopters" are needed. Here is just a sampling of the wounded military personnel Valour-IT has helped recently, or who are waiting to receive a voice-activated laptop that can be instrumental in their mental and physical recovery:

SPC M: Suffering from burns to arm and face, with a shattered left elbow and partial loss of eyesight.

SPC D: Was driving a fuel-filled tractor trailer that hit an IED. He suffered severe burns to head, face and hands.

MSG M: Serious burns to hands, arms and face with partial paralysis on one side.

SPC B: Very severe burns to his hands and lower extremeties.

SPC G: Amputated arm and leg with shrapnel wounds to face and remaining limbs.

SSG B: "...we got hit by IED. My friend was killed, I lost a right arm above elbow."

SPC A: Lost an arm due to IED explosion.

Cpl. F: IED shrapnel has caused nerve damage in arm.

SSG N: Left arm amputated above the elbow.

Sgt. B: Very severe burns to hands and arms.

SSG H: Hand burns and broken arm due to three car bombs.

1LT K: His wife writes, "My husband was injured by an IED during a convoy in his Humvee. His has suffered an above the elbow right arm amputation, above the knee left leg amputation, Tramatic Brain Injury, and nerve damage on the left side of his body. (And that's just the big stuff) I am hoping to get a voice activated laptop for him so he can begin communicating with his platoon and other people independently. Right now, he is able to dictate messages to me, and I email them out for him. It would be a great comfort to him is he were able to start doing things like this on his own..."

I cannot overstate the depth of positive impact the program is having on laptop recipients. Nurses tell us they start needing less pain medication. Soldiers and their loved ones tell us that the independence and connections that a laptop provides have a powerful effect on the their mental health, enabling wounded warriors to have the strength and positive attitude needed for effective recovery from their wounds. Wounded CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, who uses a voice-activated laptop himself, recently wrote about the program:

...the joy I've felt in both being able to communicate and in the few instances where I've been able to give a laptop to another soldier have been so rewarding that I am eternally grateful.
So far, Valour-IT has distributed nearly 400 laptops to our wounded warriors. We long ago spent every cent that was raised in the wildly-successful fundraiser last November and are again relying on the Soldiers' Angels Foundation general fund. Please help support Valour-IT, a powerful way to show our veterans that we continue to be there for them when they are no longer on the battlefield, but are now facing a much longer and more personal battle.

As I wrote last November:
They gave what they could. We must do the same.
The donation button is on the right, under the laptop icon. Give what you can.