Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans


May-June 2020

General Omar Bradley

BVA Advocate and Friend


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In This Issue

President’s Page 3

By Dr. Thomas Zampieri

Executive Director’s Message to Members 4

By Joseph Bogart

Legislative Update 5

By Donald D. Overton, Jr.

Historic National Convention 6

Virtual Meetings 7

BVA Wins VA Recognition 8

BVA, BVUK Task Force 10

Ceramic Tips “Amazing” in

Cane Navigation 12

By Mike Taylor

Hasbrook Counted among BVA

Early Stalwarts 13

By Stuart Nelson

Around BVA 16

Dole Foundation Selects Caregiver 22

Operation Peer Support News 24

Auxiliary’s View 28

By Patricia Hail

Headquarters Receives Carroll Correspondence 29

From the Veterans Services Staff 30

By Claudia Baldwin

Extraordinary Feats without Sight 31

By Ed Henkler

Chaplain’s Corner 33

By Johnnie E. Busch, Sr.

Interviewing: A Healing Act 34

By Paschal Baute

Of Note 35

Caregiver Corner 36

By Caroline H. Sheppard

In Remembrance 37

Final Thought 40

Cover Photo:

A momentous determination in November 1946 by General Omar Bradley, at the time head of the Veterans Administration, changed forever the future of the Blinded Veterans Association. The historic decision is remembered in this issue of The Bulletin. See page 8.


May-June 2020


Editor: Stuart Nelson

Assistant Editor: Kylie FitzGerald

Design, Pre-Press, and Printing: Karen Smith Design, Master Print



TELEPHONE: 800-669-7079


FAX: 202-371-8258


Combined Federal Campaign #10513

Published bi-monthly by and for blinded veterans, and sent to all blinded veterans without charge. The Bulletin informs BVA members about their Association and the issues that affect blinded veterans.

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President’s Page

by Dr. Thomas Zampieri


As we navigate these uncertain times, I

wanted to share how we are approaching things

at BVA. On March 18, BVA staff started working from home. The Board had to make many decisions during our March mid-winter meeting, and the safety of our employees was vital.

Working remotely is critical to continuing BVA’s efforts, which is a new adjustment for many; physical group meetings are gone, but we can still hold phone meetings. How we go about our work, how we treat each

other, the impact of our efforts – all these are significant to our well-being, individually and collectively in BVA moving ahead.

We would like to hear how you, at the regional group and chapter level, are adapting and rising to new challenges. What’s working? Please share by sending an email story of successes and how you have worked through this pandemic to Stuart Nelson at

I hope that each of you, your loved ones, and your community, are well, in body and mind.

What can we do in the middle of it? I do urge everyone to follow the advice and procedures recommended by our medical

professionals and local officials. In the past 20 years since I have been a member of BVA, we’ve gone through the 9/11 attacks, recessions, hurricanes, fires, and many other disasters together. What’s worked has been this:

a urinary control problem. Talk with your doctor about treatment.

Red Cross Supports Military, Veteran Caregiving

The American Red Cross has a specific caregiver program for Military and Veteran Caregivers (MVCN), offering peer-based support and services to caregivers providing care to service members and veterans. Their mission is to provide these caregivers with peer support to reduce isolation and increase connection, engagement, knowledge, skills, and hope.

MCVN achieves its mission through an online peer support community, a peer mentor program, and peer support groups both online and in-person. MCVN also has events, activities, conferences, retreats, camps, trainings, and webinars for these caregivers.

Additional information is available at families/services-for-veterans/military-veteran-caregiver-network.html or emailing


In Remembrance

The Blinded Veterans Association deeply regrets the passing of the following blinded veterans.

Alabama RG

Jimmy Wayne Jones Arizona-Central Northern RG

Frank Dickinson

Cape Cod & Islands RG

Alston Chace Gerald O’Malley

Connecticut RG Luis Centeno James Phalon

Emerald Coast RG

Charles Shelton

Florida RG

David Armstrong Donald Blevons Cecil Bradley Clayton Craig Elton Crandall Donald Deptowicz James Duda James Gamberton Carol Ganey Robert Graveline Kirk Harmon George Hovan Wilbur Jordan Richard Kettering Robert Lincoln Earl Ray Proctor John Rummel Edward Sinka Donald Vokey Charles Waters Lewis Wright

Gem State RG

Andres Cortez

Georgia RG Henry Adger Sheridan Denny Marion Hendon Percy Phillips

Greater Houston RG James Barker George Church Richard Longbottom Allen Duke

Henry Glenn Robert Lee Lawson Gene Robinson

Rix Watson

Heartland RG

Daniel Evans

Illinois RG

Zygmunt Friedel

Lousiana-Mississippi RG

Lionell Pepiton

Maine RG Stacey Dunton Donald Phelps

Massachusetts RG Raymond Chevalier Daniel Gallagher Edward Solano Norman Welch

Michigan RG Nanette Dinsmoore Donald Gelsbaugh

Mid-Atlantic RG Samuel Kramer Roger Lewis Thomas Rozzell Michael White

Midwest RG

Glenn Fishbeck

Montana RG Gaylord Case Clifford Schmutelar

Mountain State RG

Carl Bennett

NAT – Military Bases & No State RG

Oliver Crawford Danny Dunn James Moore Robert Sanford

New Jersey RG George Blum George Dickman Louis Gambaccini Leonard Goldstein

James Gordon Fowlie John Harnig

New Mexico RG Byron Braden Bryce Pungowiyi Lawrence Tafoya Donald Wadleigh

New York RG Benjamin Binyard James Griswould Victor Ramon Acosta Henry Zielinski

North Carolina RG James Collins Charles Gill

G. Roger O’Shields

Northern California RG

Harry Derum Richard Lowder

Ohio RG Stanley Braden John Dodds Donald Houk Donald Marks Mike Walker

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana RG

William Mallory Kenneth Stump Charles Wilson

Oregon Columbia RG

Charles Larson Jerry Mallett Charlotte Noddin Derald Stange

Pennsylvania RG Joseph Armstrong John Forsey

Gene Light Joseph Phillips Norman Stetler Alan George Will

Puerto Rico RG Demetrio Castro-Ayosto Hiplito Delgado Pagan Ramiro Garcia Rivera Eduardo Gonzalez

Luis Gonzalez Arroyo

Luis Angel Gonzalez Colon

Rhode Island & Southeast Mass. RG

Edmund Depin

Rio Grande RG

Dwight White

Rocky Mountain RG Clarence Dee Edwin Giles

San Diego RG

William Murray

Sooner (Oklahoma) RG

Ray Gunnells William McPherson

Southern Arizona RG

George Gonzales

Southern California RG

Lynwood Barker Southern Nevada/Silver State RG

James Dalton

Dale Jensen

Spokane Inland Empire RG


Donald Geiberger

Peter Hanrahan Robert Hurt

Tennessee RG

Elzo Townsend

Washington RG Melvin Ballman Ray Gerring Charles Powers

Wisconsin RG Neil Ford Bruce Keller Carl Mates

Donnette Schroeder Larry Sutherland



President DR. THOMAS ZAMPIERI, Pearland, TX Vice President JOSEPH MCNEIL, Columbus, GA Secretary DANIEL WALLACE, Carthage, NY Treasurer ELIZABETH HOLMES, Midland, GA

Director District 1 DENNIS O’CONNELL, Long Beach, NY

Director District 2 TIM HORNIK, Lawrence, KS

Director District 3 MONACA GILMORE, Rocky Mount, NC Director District 4 JHENNICEA MORROW, Gilbert, AZ Director District 5 PAUL KAMINSKY, Middleburg, FL Director District 6 KEVIN JACKSON, Austin, TX

National Chaplain JOHNNIE BUSCH, SR., Atlanta, GA Sergeant-At-Arms KENNAN HORN, Edmond, OK Trusted Advisory Council GARRET BOLKS, Tulsa, OK,

JEFF MITTMAN, Indianapolis, IN


President SANDY KRASNODEMSKI, Allen Park, MI

Vice President EDNA KIRKSEY-DIXON, Bay Minette, AL

Secretary SHERRI HARRIS-BATES, Tulsa, OK Treasurer BENJAMIN HOLMES, Midland, GA Reporter PATRICIA HAIL, Deer Park, WA


Acting Executive Director DONALD D. OVERTON, JR.

Administrative Director BRIGITTE JONES

Director of Government Relations DONALD D. OVERTON, JR.

Membership Coordinator MARIA INGEGNERI Event Coordinator VICTORIA SCHUMACHER Development Coordinator ANDREA MALMER

Government Relations Specialist ERIN MCCONNELL

Director of Public Relations STUART NELSON Public Relations Specialist KYLIE FITZGERALD Bookkeeper YVONNE PRESTON


Please Return to:


1101 King Street, Suite 300

Alexandria, VA 22314




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Final Thought




Just weeks prior to stay-at-home orders and international travel restrictions, representatives of BVA, BVUK, and NAEVR (National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research) met

in London in a collaborative effort

to garner unprecedented support for ocular trauma research internationally--with the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way.

Pictured March 2 outside Blind Veterans UK headquarters, left to right, are NAEVR’s James Jorkasky, BVUK’s Renata Gomes, and BVA’s Tom Zampieri prior to a whirlwind week of visits with British dignitaries regarding the initiative.

The time the three spent together in the UK also led to a most improbable British Parliament motion three weeks later in which BVA was recognized for its 75th anniversary and its longstanding friendship and partnership with Blind Veterans UK, both before

and since the establishment of the Project Gemini exchange initiated by the two organizations in 2011.