Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why donate to Valour-IT?

I'm glad to see that the teams are mixing it up well - with Fuzzybear Lioness hijacking the Castle to post for the Marine team. (Run, Fuzzy, Run!) Still, the Army team is currently holding a decent lead in the inter-service rivalry.

Go Army! Beat Navy!!!

Fun aside, there are many reasons to support Project Valour-IT. When it was created, the concept was simple - provide a laptop and voice-activated software to allow wounded servicemembers to communicate with their loved ones. To give them a means of interaction that didn't require someone else at the controls, and to give them a tool for further independence.

If you need help understanding how much it means to have this, be sure to try Chuck's visualization exercise. Go ahead and come back, I'll wait.
So, did you cheat? Now, imagine that you *couldn't* cheat. Because your arms are too hurt and encased in bandages, or maybe one or both are gone. Imagine how you would stay in touch with your buddies back in the sandbox, or with your family and friends back home.

Over the past three years more than 2700 laptops have been distributed, to men and women like Lieutenant Colonel X :

I don't know where to start. I was thrilled and truly appreciative of the laptop donation that Soldiers Angels sent. My neurology team is ecstatic with the progress that I have made, yet we all temper our excitement as I still have a long recovery ahead. Due to the great hearts (sponsors, donors, volunteers and others too numerous to mention) within Soldiers Angels I have become more mobile in my rehabilitation and the laptop is absolutely one of the tools that I have in my recovery toolbox. I use it to keep current on my schedule and have several applications that assist with recovery.

I know that my recovery has been aided by the cards, letters, and notes sent by your Angels. I love to read them and have started to send Thank You's to many of them. I just want you and everyone to know that your organization is a Godsend to Soldiers. Please send this note of Thanks to the appropriate personnel, and if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

God Bless You and God Bless America.

Lieutenant Colonel X

Amen to that, sir.

Each year the project has improved, and this year, new technologies have been added for even more impact. One big change is the partnership between Project Valour-IT and the CAP program of the DoD :

Originally Valour-IT provided the voice-controlled software that accompanies the laptops, but now works closely with the Department of Defense Computer/electronic Accommodations Program (CAP): CAP supplies the adaptive software and Valour-IT provides the laptop. In addition, DoD caseworkers serve as Valour-IT’s “eyes and ears” at several medical centers, identifying patients in need of laptops and other technological support for their recovery.

The program is great, but ... there isn't enough money to meet the needs. As Chuck explains, they need our help. Give up some lattes or mochas, and go pop a few dollars in the pot to keep this program going strong. Help to ensure that all of our injured troops who can benefit from this program get hooked up - with the technology that will help them recover and stay connected to the world around them.

Oh - and make sure you donate right here!

Serve those who have Served