March 17, 2015

Sgt. Shaft caricatureDear Sgt Shaft
What programs are available to paralyzed veterans?

Richard M
Via the internet

Dear Richard
That’s a rather broad question, but I know that Veterans with spinal cord injury and disease, as well as other veterans needing assistance with VA benefits, entitlements, medical care and other benefits, often rely on Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Veterans Benefits Department (VBD).

PVA’s Veterans Benefits Department (VBD) makes up the largest department in Paralyzed Veterans of America and is dedicated to serving paralyzed veterans. They provide free, comprehensive benefits assistance and advocacy.

PVA also has a team of experienced registered nurses, physicians, and support staff who monitor and respond to inquiries from across the country regarding spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) via their Healthcare Helpline – 1-800-232-1782.  They monitor the 24 SCI/D Centers around the country that provide specialized care to individuals with a spinal cord injury or disorder. These SCI/D Centers have teams of people who are trained to handling the problems that can happen with a spinal cord injury. Most veterans with SCI/D should be seen at an SCI/D Center each year for their annual evaluations.

Shaft Notes
The 2015 Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame Ceremony and Reception, Honoring Service & Preserving History, will be held at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 at the Rayburn House Office Building foyer to induct into the Hall of Fame:

  • Command Sergeant Major Mary Sutherland, USA (Ret) *Deceased – Served 35 years; First Woman CSM for USMA and Corps of Cadets
  • Colonel Sally Murphy, USA (Ret) – First Army Woman Helicopter Pilot
  • Army Women Distinguished Flying Cross Recipients
  • Colonel Jill Chambers, USA (Ret), Founder, This Able Vet, LLC

Others to be honored are recognized for their efforts to champion the issues of Army women:

  • V-WISE Program at Syracuse University – Army Women Entrepreneurship and Research
  • Ron Howard and Frank Martin – Unsung Heroes documentary

The Seventh Annual Summit, held at The Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, consists of two panels and a keynote luncheon speaker. The first panel, Army Women: Leading the Workforce Today & Tomorrow, will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 and will feature panel discussions focused on military and civilian professional and business opportunities, career transitions, and other leadership issues affecting Army women. Speakers and panelists will include nationally recognized thought leaders in business and Veterans issues. Scheduled to appear are:

  • Dr. J. Michael Haynie, Vice Chancellor Syracuse University, Executive Director, Institute for Veterans and Military Families
  • Colonel Kevin Preston, USA (Ret), Director, Human Resources – Veterans Initiative, ESPN, Inc.
  • Chief Warrant Officer 05 Phyllis Wilson, Command Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army Reserve
  • Mrs. Cathy Christian, Vice President, Enterprise Services and Financial Systems, Prudential Financial, Inc.; formerly Captain, USAF

The afternoon panel, Army Women: Political Empowerment & Engagement, is designed to help

The Army Women’s Foundation will convene service members and veterans, leading employers, senior military members, policy and legislative experts, and other guests for its Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Summit March 17 and 18 in the nation’s capital.

The Hall of Fame ceremony will honor Army women who led the way for others to follow or who were decorated for heroism or extraordinary achievement. Lieutenant General Karen E. Dyson, USA, Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller), will deliver the keynote speech.

The Summit will focus on two key issues facing Army women:

  • Leadership on the battlefield and in business, to examine military and civilian professional opportunities and career transitions.
  • Political empowerment and engagement, to focus on transitioning Army leadership skills from military service to community and public service.

Presented with support from The Home Depot Foundation and other partners, the two-day event opens with an evening Hall of Fame Reception on Capitol Hill and ends with a Summit in Arlington, VA to address important leadership issues for Army women.

“The mission of the Army Women’s Foundation is to honor and preserve the contributions of women who serve in the Army and help them prepare for ongoing success whether they continue a career as soldiers or return to civilian life,” said retired Maj. Gen. Dee Ann McWilliams, president of the Army Women’s Foundation. “Every March, as our nation observes Women’s History Month, we gather to address issues that affect the future of Army women.”

“As we continue our nationwide efforts to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families, we are honored to join the Army Women’s Foundation in recognizing these remarkable women, who have given so much to protect us all,” said Heather Pritchard, senior manager of national partnerships for The Home Depot Foundation.





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