As veterans of the U.S. Military, we are proud to have trained to defend our nation and then to have served honorably in whatever capacity and wherever we were assigned. Although we hold in special esteem the branch of the military in which we served, in my case the Marine Corps, the values promoted by each branch overlap and have many of the same themes. These are the values we have taken with us to the Blinded Veterans Association in support of its motto “Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans.”
 

My call to service as a Marine was, at least in part, to be willing to serve from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli in the air and on land and sea, and to do so with the Marine Corps values of honor, courage, and commitment.
My call now, especially as a new member of the Board of Directors as Director of District 5, is to be on the front lines of fighting for all my blinded veteran brothers and sisters, no matter where I am at any given time. This is my priority.
If we put into practice my Marine Corps values as we serve our fellow blinded veterans, we will keep our honor clean, which means that we will do nothing to disgrace anyone or anything with which we associate ourselves. It also means that we will be persons who can be relied upon to act in the best interest of our blind community, reaching out to others to share and network with them openly.

Also true in the Marine Corps, our courage will not permit us to leave any man or woman behind, even in the face of grave danger. The same must be true within the Blinded Veterans Association, where our older veterans share their wisdom and experience while our younger veterans share their practical knowledge of technological innovations that can improve the quality of life of those same older veterans.

Inherent in the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis,” Always Faithful, are commitment and loyalty to one another. These qualities motivated us as Marines and they can motivate us as veterans. We must be committed to our younger veterans in helping them adjust to vision loss as we also respect their abilities and support them in leadership positions. They are our future. We must be equally respectful of the sacrifices and service of our older veterans. Without them, BVA’s 75 years of service to blinded veterans would never have been possible.

As blinded veterans, we will continue working together in the future, guided by the values we have internalized as we have served one another in the past and present.