red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

Blinded Veterans Members Attend Golf Event Honors Memory Maj. Charles R Soltes Jr. O.D.

Press Information Contact: Tom Zampieri  Blinded Veterans Association, (301) 204-3291 Cell,

Blinded Veterans Members Attend Golf Event Honors Memory Maj. Charles R Soltes Jr. O.D.

(IRVINE, CALIF. September 30, 2019) — Three blinded American veterans will share rehabilitation experiences that tell the story of their personal adjustment to blindness at the Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr. O.D. 15th Memorial Charitable Golf event Monday, October 14 in Irvine, California.  The group will join golfers for the annual competition to honor Major Soltes Jr. O.D. Golf Tournament at the Tijeras Creek Golf Club Irvine. On October 13, 2004 Major Soltes became the first U.S. Army optometrist killed in action while serving on active duty in Iraq while serving as a Public Health Commander with the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion in Mosul, Iraq, assisting in the restoration of the medical infrastructure.   

            The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is charitable veteran’s organization that uses funds raised at the tournament for Operation Peer Support that was started in 2005 to bring together peers from previous generations of war blinded that initially supported returning from Iraq or Afghanistan that were recently war blinded. OPS has expanded to include other generations of blinded veterans, and brings them together to share experiences, learn about vision rehabilitation and attend variety recreational sports events.

        The tournament veterans include two OIF war veterans who suffered vision injuries in combat Specialist. Brian Harris (Ret. USA.), and Sgt. Adam Rowland (Ret. USA.). Major Thomas Zampieri (Ret. USA.), is national president BVA with retinal blindness since 2000. Adam Rowland is award winning blind horseback riding rodeo champion. Brain Harris in September 2018 kayaked 226 miles of Colorado River with four other BVA members through the Grand Canyon in eleven days in historic event.

        Our major goal OPS veterans are we all have an important role in helping our peer veterans going through adjustment to vision loss and feel connected to their communities, their families, and with recreational activities, that brings sense of recovery and meaning to their lives. 

        BVA veterans will be available for interviews and photos the afternoon of the golf event Monday, October 14. For more information about the BVA  and the tournament, contact either Tom Zampieri, (301) 204-3291; or Tom Clarke, cell (714-389-8830)


Maj Robb Soltes October 14 2019 Golf Event BVA Press Release​​