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Helping Veterans on Veterans Day: Project VALOUR-IT

Today, we thank all those who have served. These are the people who wrote that famous blank check that is for payment up to and including life for the defense of liberty and the cause of freedom. They deserve our thanks; yet, they deserve more.

More than mere words, we have the chance today to do something tangible not just for any veterans, but for those who have paid the price of flesh and blood for this country and its citizens. This is a chance to do something tangible and beneficial for those injured in the line of duty.

We get this particular chance because Chuck "The Maniac" Ziegenfuss got blown up. Once awake and semi-coherent, Chuck looked at his bandaged hands, looked at the telephone keypad, the computer keyboard, and even the toilet and said, well, "fudge". Chuck tells this better than I do, but your average troop upon waking up in LRMC or Walter Reed, or BAMC wants to do one thing: communicate. They want to let the guys know they are okay and are coming back no matter what; they want to let their spouse know that they are okay; and, they want to let friends know they are okay. When you are wounded, particularly when the wounds involve or effect your hands, that is just about impossible.

Chuck had a laptop, and a reader who essentially bought him the voice activated software to run on it. That this was a very good thing, and could help a lot of the wounded, was obvious to Chuck and he got with Soldier's Angels to see what could be done. The result was and is Project VALOUR-IT.

One of the most humbling experiences of my life was being asked to present some of these laptops last year. One of the most rewarding was hearing from recipients how much they had been helped by having those laptops, by being able to send e-mails, surf the web, or even make calls over the internet. By being able to do those things that those of us with working hands take for granted.

Right now, the fund is empty and there are wounded warriors who need them. Things are tight, I know. Things are uncertain, I do know all too well. Yet, don't you think you can spare even a couple of dollars for this? It doesn't have to be much, for every little bit helps. Large or small, your donation will have a direct and positive impact on a wounded or disabled service member.

And it does go to all the members of the armed forces. As a result, there is a little friendly competition underway *coughgoarmycough* pitting the Army against the lesser services. You can donate to Team Army using the button above, or you support one of the other services via this page (though why you would want to do so is beyond me).

So, while we say thanks today to our veterans, let's also say it in a practical and beneficial way.