“WHY ME” by linxiaoqin


									   The Official Publication of The Paralyzed Veterans Association of Florida Incorporated

                                                              FEBRUARY/MARCH 2008

                                                                       Reprint In
                                                                     Memory of
                                                                    & Sunshine
Volume 52, Issue 1 - Bimonthly Publication                       Frank Chimera
    Inside this Issue                                                             PVAF SUB OFFICE
                                                                                VA MEDICAL CENTER
   President’s Message.....................pg3                          1201 North West 16th Street, Room 1C-134
   Calendar of Events.......................pg4                                   Miami, Florida 33125
   Taking to the Hill...........................pg6                           Telephone/Fax 305-575-3304
   Executive Director’s Report.........pg8
                                                                               SCI HOTLINE NUMBERS
   NSO’s Corner................................pg9                           SCI Outpatient Clinic Practitioner
   Sports Room................................pg11                            Direct: 888-276-1785 ext. 14520
                                                                                 Appt Only: 888-274-1785
   An Inspiring Life.......................pg13
                                                                                    ext. 13587 or 13588
   PVAF Clubhouse.........................pg15
   Spokesman News Roundup........pg16                                          PVA SERVICE OFFICE
   Classified Ads..............................pg17                              David Weinstein, NSO
                                                                               Miami VA Medical Center
   PVAF On Location......................pg21                           1201 North West 16th Street, Room 1C-139
   PVAF Mailbox.............................pg22                                 Miami, Florida 33125
                                                                             305-575-7180 or 800-795-3591
                                                                                  FAX: 305-575-7181

   OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS                                                         PVA SERVICE OFFICE
   President...........................Charles Rivenburgh III                        VA Regional Office
   Vice President.................................Patrick Havern                        P.O. Box 1437
   Secretary.........................................Enrique Lopez           St. Petersburg, Florida 33731-9968
   Treasurer..........................................Jerry D. Jones           727-319-7470 or 800-795-3594
   Director.............................................John Di Maio
   Director..........................................Patrick Havern
   Director.............................................Alvin Kublin
   Director........................................Gordon Mobley
   Director........................................Donald Thomas
   National Director PVA.......Charles Rivenburgh III
   Executive Director.........................Michael Foster
   Newsletter Editor............................Michael Foster
   Administrative Assistant....................Nikki Baker
   Newsletter Layout..............................Nikki Baker

   Advocacy.....................................Donald Thomas
                                                                                 Published by Paralyzed Veterans
   Budget............................................Jerry D. Jones                    Association of Florida
   Fund Raising...............................Donald Thomas
   Health Care/Miami..............Charles Rivenburgh III
   Meeting Coordinator..........................Nikki Baker.            Paralyzed Veterans Association of Florida, Inc.
   Membership.....................Anibal “Andy” Carvajal                        3799 North Andrews Avenue
   Research & Education..................Gordon Mobley                         Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
   Sports.................................................Nicole Ward      Phone: 954-565-8885 or 800-683-2001
   VAVS, Miami................................Patrick Havern                         FAX: 954-565-8843
   Volunteer Coordinator........................Nikki Baker                        Email: PVAF@aol.com
                                                                                    WEB: www.pvaf.org

Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication               Page 2
                                               Chuck Rivenburgh
                                               PVAF President

Our Chapter recently lost several members including three long-time active members Marc Lancaster,
Mac Glasgow and Frank Chimera.
Marc Lancaster was well known in our chapter for his participation in sports and recreation. Marc in
spite of being a high-level quad not only attended several Veterans Wheelchair Games where he won
many medals but participated in other recreational activities such as sailing. His excellence in sports and
recreation made him a mentor to many PVAF members.
  Mac Glasgow, aka “The Minister of Transportation”, fought endlessly for persons with disabilities. He
fought not only for veterans, but for others in the community. As a long-time advocate for persons with
disabilities, Mac was well known by Miami-Dade Transit authorities and Commissioners. PVAF knew
that when we needed transportation access for our members, Mac was the man to call.
Frank Chimera, PVAF two-time past President (1974-1976 and 1984-1986) passed away this February.
Aside from his tenure as President, Frank worked as editor of our chapter Newsletter, The Sunshine
Spokesman. During this time he created the PVAF Logo and won PVA Newsletter Award for his work.
These individuals and our other deceased members will be deeply missed.
In the last newsletter I announced that Pedro DeArmas resigned as Director to National. Our Board of
Directors voted unanimously for me to act as Director to National until a replacement can be found. As
a result of this temporary placement I am privileged and honored to represent our chapter at the Mid-
Winter Board of Directors Meeting on March 17th –21st in Tampa.
On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, new occupational therapist, Brook Jerome, organized a cooking ther-
apy activity for patients on the SCI ward. PVAF sponsored the food and cooking utensils for the prepa-
ration of authentic Irish Sheppard’s Pie. With the assistance and direction of the therapist, outpatients
will prepare the pie and decorate pre-baked cupcakes. If this project goes well, PVAF will work with
the therapy department on similar projects in the future. A possible project that will be considered is a
Memorial Day Bar-B-Q. I think these activities are good causes for PVAF, since patients are taught new
recipes and safe cooking techniques. They also allow patients to give back to others on the ward and
truly improve the quality of life for our members.
Edna Orr RN, a past recipient of the PVAF scholarship fund, will be presented with an award at
a retirement luncheon for her on Thursday, March 20th at the VA Health Care Center. Due to my ab-
sence, Mike Foster will attend the luncheon and present Edna with an engraved clock and a dozen red
roses as a token of our appreciation and gratitude. We truly appreciate Edna who served thirty-three
years on the SCI Ward. Edna has a total of thirty-eight years service at the Miami VA Hospital. We wish
her all the best in her retirement.
In closing, please be reminded that PVA Awareness Week is around the corner and we still need volun-
teers to help us with the activities we have planned. If you are interested in supporting PVA and PVAF
please contact Nikki Baker, volunteer coordinator at 954-565-8885 or at pvaf@aol.com.

                                                                               The Sunshine Spokesman    Page 3
                                                       Visit us on the web @
        PVA Awareness Week
        April 13th - 19th, 2008                      Calendar of Events
                                                                                            APRIL 2008
              PVAF is looking for
                   Volunteers                        April 9th....................................BOD Meeting
                  interested in                                                          PVAF Office, 11am
           working to assist, promote,
                                                     April 13th-19th............ PVA Awareness Week
           or represent PVAF during                  April 16th....Meet PVAF at Marlins vs Braves
           PVA Awareness Week 2008
                                                     April 30th.......................General Membership
           Interested Volunteers should contact                                Lunch Meeting, 12 Noon
           Volunteer Coordinator, Nikki Baker:                           Olive Garden, Ft. Lauderdale
         Paralyzed Veterans Association of Florida
                 3799 N. Andrews Avenue                                                        MAY 2008
                 Oakland Park, FL 33309
                                                     May 14th...................................BOD Meeting
        (954) 565 8885 or pvaf@aol.com                                                PVAF Office, 11am

   Donate Your Car,                                        “I long to accomplish a
   Truck or RV                                            great and noble task, but
   to PVAF                                                     it is my chief duty
   Call                                                       to accomplish tasks
   954-565-8885                                           as though they were great
                                                                    and noble.
                                                              The world is moved
                                                            along, not only by the
                                                                  mighty shoves
                                                            of its heroes, but also
                                                           by the aggregate of the
                                                          tiny pushes of each hon-
                                                                   est worker.”
                                                                     - Helen Keller
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 4
                                                            sive budget and policy document co-authored by PVA,

                 Taking to                                  AMVETS, DAV, and VFW, the administration’s fund-
                                                            ing falls short in several key areas. These are: healthcare

                 the Hill...                                (1.6 billion short), prosthetic research ($113 million
                                                            short), veteran’s benefits programming ($300 million
                                                            short) and construction programs ($1 billion short).
                       Donald Thomas
                                                            In his address President Pleva stated: “President Bush’s
                                                            2009 budget is short by $3 billion for our veterans and
                                                            this means our seriously injured veterans will not get
                                                            the services they have earned and deserve. We urge
                                                            Congress to close this gap by fully implementing our
                                                            Independent Budget. It’s good for America,” Mr. Pleva
                                                            We are optimistic that Congress and the Administration
                                                            will do the right thing for America’s Veterans.
I represented our Chapter at the Paralyzed Veterans of
America Advocacy and Legislation Seminar in Crys-
tal City, Virginia, March 3rd-6th. I also attended PVA’s
Annual Testimony to Congress on Capitol Hill and met
with our congressional representatives to discuss issues
and concerns that affect our members.
Some of the issues we discussed with our representa-
tives were: the 2009 VA Health Care Budget, the Dole-
Shalala and Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission
                                                                   Paralyzed Veterans
Reports, elimination of co-payments for catastrophi-
cally disabled category-four veterans, protection of
                                                                  Association of Florida
specialized services, support of the ADA Restoration
Act, benefit rating acceleration for veteran entitlements
                                                                     Thanks You for
(BRAVE Act), and the inclusive Home Design Act.                    Remembering Us...
I would like to thank U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Sena-
tor Mel Martinez, Representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart,
Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for meeting
with me. A very special thanks goes to Representative
                                                                    We truly Appreciate
Ron Klein for testifying to the House Budget Commit-
tee for more funding for the Department of Veterans
                                                                       that you have
Affairs.                                                           Remembered us Over
I also met staff members from the offices of Kendrick               the Years with Your
Meek, Debra Wasserman-Shultz, and Robert P. Wex-
ler. We truly appreciate these representatives for taking             Service, Vehicle,
time out of their busy schedules to hear and discuss our
                                                                   Medical Equipment,
In his March 7th testimony to Congress, Paralyzed Vet-             and Trust Donations.
erans of America President, Randy Pleva urged Con-
                                                                              Donation Information:
gress to close the Veterans Healthcare Funding Gap es-
                                                                                (954) 565-8885
timated at three billion dollars.
According to the Independent Budget - a comprehen-
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 6
                                                          ous schedules. All meetings are subsidized at ten dollars
                                                          per person. Occasionally the meetings will feature guest
                                                          speakers to provide useful information, so be sure to peri-
                                                          odically check the PVAF Calendar of Events in the news-
                                                          letter or on the web for dates and times and special guests.
                                                          One of the events on the PVAF calendar in which I highly
                                                          encourage your participation is this year’s PVA Aware-
                                                          ness Week. This April we will need a few members and
                                                          volunteers willing to visit one elementary school class
                                                          to discuss this year’s theme “The Courage to Serve, The
                                                          Passion to Lead”. During the presentation the member is
                                                          encouraged to discuss their personal service history and
                                                          the challenges of living with a disability. The short presen-
                                                          tations will be followed by a Q&A session and volunteers
                                                          will help distribute Awareness memorabilia to students.

              Executive                                   The other Awareness Week event we are excited about

                                                          is PVA Awareness Night at the Dolphin Stadium. The
                                                          Dolphin stadium is giving PVAF use of their Commu-

                                                          nity Health Booth on the night of April 16th for the
                                                          Marlins vs Atlanta Braves Baseball game. We are ask-
                                                          ing members to come out to the game. By showing a
                       Mike Foster                        sizable group number this will attract stadium visitor’s
                                                          attention to our group and the Health Booth where we
It seems as if only yesterday I was appointed to          will give away PVA and PVAF information. All visi-
serve as chapter Executive Director, yet it has been      tors to the game will have to cover their own parking
an entire year since my appointment. Looking              costs, but all supporting members will get one free
back it has been a busy year, relearning the office       admission. To reserve tickets or if you are interested
and reacquainting with members and their needs.           in speaking to a class please contact the PVAF office.

We had a couple of unexpected staff turnovers, but
were fortunate to quickly acquire two new employ-              The Sunshine Spokesman staff has decided to
ees. Nikki Baker and Ashley Garel-Bernard are tal-

ented and conscientious additions to our team. There
have been some challenges adjusting to staff chang-
es, such as meeting deadlines and re-training, yet
somehow the process has been both satisfying and
rewarding and I look to the future with optimism.
With the passing of members, Frank Chimera, Mac
Glasgow and Mark Lancaster, PVAF realizes the val-
ue of active members. We also realized that these po-        Our recent decision to print smaller quantities of
sitions of leadership must be filled by members. Un-         newsletters and choose more-cost efficient digital
fortunately we have not seen the desired participation
necessary to build our chapter. We need members              printing are just the beginning. Over the next few
to serve on the Board of Directors and committees.           issues you may notice changes that will allow us
                                                              to save money and conserve energy and natural
PVAF also wants to expand our sports program. Mem-
bers have expressed interest in fishing tournaments and
trapshooting, but we need your feedback and help to
put these together. Members are encouraged to attend          It is our objective to play our part in the respon-
General Membership Meetings, voice concerns and             sible stewardship of this publication and our Earth.
opinions and of course socialize with others. PVAF
                                                              Send your green ideas and suggestions to pvaf@aol.com,
membership meetings will alternate between lunch
                                                                     Type “PVAF GO GREEN” in the Subject.
hour and dinner time meetings to accommodate vari-
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication Page 8
                                   NSO’s CORNER                    David Weinstein ~ National Service Officer

In the last issue of the Sunshine Spokesman, we discussed one way to get the VA to pay or reimburse veterans
for care received at non-VA facilities that had not been previously approved by the VA in advance. This is called
an “Unauthorized Medical Expense”. Even though the expense was incurred without prior approval, it may still
be paid by the VA providing it is done according to the specified laws and regulations. There are two laws that
apply to reimbursement for unauthorized medical expenses. Last time we discussed reimbursement provided
for service connected veterans under Section 1728 of veterans’ law. Under Section 1725, however, it may be
                                                   possible for veterans with non-service-connected disabilities to
                                                   get payment of bills for emergency services at non-VA facili-
                                                   ties even though not eligible under Section 1728. This program
                                                   is much more restrictive than that for service connected veter-
                                                   ans and the process must be strictly adhered to, otherwise the
                                                   VA will not pay. In this issue we will describe this process.

                                                    Under federal law 38 USC 1725, the VA may pay for emergen-
                                                    cy care at non-VA facilities for veterans entitled to cost free care
                                                    at the VA. In addition, ALL of the following must be true:

                                               a. The care must have been for a medical emergency of
                                               a kind that a delay in care would have been hazardous to
                                               life or health (VA will not pay for any period beyond which
                                               the vet could be safely discharged or transferred to the VA).
                                               b. The veteran must be enrolled in a VA health-
                                               care system (any VA healthcare system) and have re-
                                             ceived care from the VA within the previous 24 months.
c. The veteran must be liable to pay for the treatment provided and not be covered by a health plan
or have no recourse against a third party (as in an auto accident). The VA can not be a partial pay-
er and having insurance will cause the VA to deny the claim. You will be then liable for any bill over
what the insurer will pay. Again, the VA should be advised as soon as possible when you are admit-
ted to a non-VA facility for an emergency (be sure to get names and titles of the individuals you contacted).

This benefit has strict rules associated with it and failure to follow them may require the VA to deny your claim. One
rule is that the VA must receive the claim within 90 days of discharge from the emergency. Since some hospitals do
not send the bill immediately, this may leave little time to make the claim to the VA, so DO NOT DELAY. This claim
must be made to the VA that covers the capture area where you are admitted for the emergency. This would mean, for
example, if you lived in Miami and were admitted for an emergency during a trip to Fort Myers, the bill would be sub-
mitted to Bay Pines VA as that is their coverage area. Your PVA National Service Officer can assist you with this claim.

For more information about this or any veteran’s benefit, please contact your PVA National Service Office.

Irish-Home Cooking Therapy at Miami VA/SCI Unit
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th a therapeutic patient cooking group will meet for the first
time with our new occupational therapist, Brook Jerome. The therapeutic cooking group will
allow our out-patient and wellness patients to practice safety, functional mobility and use of
adaptive equipment in the kitchen. Working together in a cohesive group, they will cook for
fellow veterans as well as learning new recipes that can be carried over into their home envi-
ronment. The lunch-time fare will consist of an Irish meal that will be prepared in the ADL
suite on the SCI unit. Veterans will gather in the Day Room and those preparing the meal will
transport it there. The in-patients will join and enjoy some good old-fashioned Irish cooking.

                                                                                       The Sunshine Spokesman    Page 9
                    TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!

                                                                                  PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA

                                                                          C HOOTING SPORTS


NATIONAL HOST SPONSOR                             NATIONAL HOST SPONSOR             Paralyzed Veterans of America invites all trap-
• ANHEUSER-BUSCH                                                                    shooters to come test your skills on the PVA
                                                                                    National Trapshoot Circuit. Veteran, nonveteran,
LOCAL HOST SPONSOR                                                                  wheelchair user, able-bodied — all will compete
• BEST BATH SYSTEMS                                                                 on an equal basis.

CIRCUIT PRODUCT SPONSORS                                                            12th Annual
                                                                                    PVA NATIONAL TRAPSHOOT CIRCUIT
• INVACARE CORPORATION®                             LOCAL HOST SPONSOR
                                                                                    NEVADA PVA
• WINCHESTER AMMUNITION                                                             October 25– 27, 2007
                                                                                    Las Vegas, NV
CIRCUIT SPONSORS                                                                    ARIZONA PVA
• BENELLI/STOEGER                                                                   February 7– 9, 2008
                                                                                    Phoenix, AZ
                                                                                    FLORIDA GULF COAST PVA
                                                                                    March 20– 22, 2008
• RUGER                                                                             Odessa, FL
                                                                                    CAL - DIEGO PVA
MEDIA SPONSORS                                                                      April 11– 13, 2008
                                                                                                               The Cal-Diego Chapter will host a pistol
                                                                                                               competition on Monday, April 14th,
• PN & SPORTS ’N SPOKES                                                             San Diego, CA              open to wheelchair shooters only –
                                                                                                               $75.00 entry fee.
                                                                                    SOUTHEASTERN PVA
SHOOTING SPORTS PARTNERS                                                            April 25–27, 2008
                                                                                    Augusta, GA
                                                                                    MID-AMERICA PVA
• CABELA’S                                                                          May 16–18, 2008
• DUCKS UNLIMITED                                                                   Sedgwick, KS

• GLOCK                                                                             COLONIAL PVA
                                                                                    May 30–June 1, 2008
• KERSHAW KNIVES                              OFFICIAL CIRCUIT PRODUCT SPONSORS     Baltimore, MD
• LEUPOLD SCOPES                                                                    VAUGHAN PVA
• MIL-COMM                                                                          June 20–22, 2008
                                                                                    Whitington, IL
                                                                                    WISCONSIN PVA
                                                                                    July 11–13, 2008
• QUAIL UNLIMITED                                                                   Green Bay, WI

• QUALITY DEER MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION                                               NORTH CENTRAL PVA
                                                                                    September 5–7, 2008
• SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL                                                         Sioux Falls, SD
• SUREFIRE                                                                          NORTHWEST PVA
                                                      MEDIA SPONSORS                September 26–28, 2008
                                                                                    Boise, ID
                  This program is supported
                  through the PVA Outdoor
                  Recreation Heritage Fund,                                                          For information, call the PVA Sports
                  a permanent endowment.                                                             and Recreation program at
 Please visit www.pvaheritagefund.org or                                                             (800) 424-8200, ext. 687
 call (877) PVA-DOIT.                                                                                or visit www.pva.org.
                                                                           Tennis Anyone...
In the Players Choice Awards for 2002, the Florida Open , USA, was chosen as the Tournament of the Year. This
award recognized the tournaments quality and it contributions to the development of wheelchair tennis at the national

                                 or international level. The Florida Open is held in Boca Raton, Florida, and is one
                                 of the largest wheelchair tennis tournaments in the world. Over 175 players com-
                                 peted in last year’s event, with 363 matches. World number one players David Hall
                                 and Esther Vergeer were voted male and female player of the year in the Players
                                 Choice Awards, for their impact on the game. The player’s fair play, and contribu-

    Room                         tion to development of wheelchair tennis are taken into consideration in the voting.
                                   Check out the latest & greatest events of the Disability Community Florida Open
                                   2008 Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, April 9-13th, 2008 in Boca Raton, Florida
                                   Event URL: http://xable.com/events/floridaopen2008. For more information, visit
                                   www.itftennis.com, http:/www.itftennis.com/wheelchair/, or http://www.nwsf.org/

                                   Miami park adds wheelchair tennis team to its roster
                                   Miami’s Accessible Guide To Inclusion In Our Community (Magic) offers wheel
                                   chair tennis and hopes to gain better access to parks for people with disabilities.
                                   “...The program is called MAGIC because ``this is where magic happens; MAGIC
                                   is at the heart of what the city of Miami Parks does.’’ For more information about
                                   MAGIC, call Arguelles at 305-461-7201 ext, 221 or Jenny Kelchner at ext. 228.
Nicole Ward   nicolepvaf@aol.com   Learn More at: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/east/story/439957.html

                                                                                     The Sunshine Spokesman   Page 11
Did you receive
Even if you are not otherwise required to file a tax return, you may still be entitled to an
economic stimulus payment from the federal government.

WHAT YOU COULD GET: You could receive a payment of $300 for individuals or $600 if you are
married and le a joint tax return with your spouse. Eligible taxpayers who qualify for a payment
may receive an additional $300 for each qualifying child. To qualify a child must be under age 17 as
of December 31, 2007.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: All you have to do to get the stimulus payment is le a 2007 IRS Form
1040 or Form 1040A and report at least $3,000 in qualifying income on the form. You can include
the amount of your VA bene ts to qualify for the stimulus payment.

QUALIFYING INCOME: Add the amount of your VA disability compensation, pension, or survivors’
bene ts to any other qualifying income you have to reach the $3,000 requirement. Other qualifying
income would include wage earnings or Social Security bene ts.

WHAT YOU FILL OUT: Enter your name, address, Social Security Number, and ling status on the
form. Then just enter the amount of VA and Social Security bene ts you received on line 14a of the
Form 1040A or line 20a of Form 1040. You can estimate the bene ts you receive from VA or the
Social Security Administration by taking the monthly amount you received last year and multiplying
it by the number of months you received payments. If you need to include wage earnings to reach
the $3,000 qualifying level, enter that amount on Line 7 of Form 1040A or 1040. In addition, you
should write the words “Stimulus Payment” at the top of the 1040A or 1040.



WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY PAYMENT? For those who le a 2007 tax return, IRS will begin
mailing checks in May.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: In late March 2008, the IRS will mail a packet of information to
recipients of VA bene ts who did not le a tax return last year. The packet will contain guidance to
help you claim the stimulus payment. If you need information in the interim, you can visit the IRS
web site at www.IRS.gov.
                   An Inspiring Life                                        by Cathy Chimera

My Dad was drafted into the Army to fight in the Korean War and was deployed to an area known as Pork Chop
Hill. In 1953, on the day that he was due to be shipped home, he heard fighting break out. He walked back to
the front and went into a foxhole with his buddies. He was the only one to emerge alive when a hand grenade
was lobbed at their position. His spinal cord was severed leaving him a paraplegic and he spent the next two
years in a VA hospital recovering from his injuries. He was awarded the Purple Heart. The Doctors estimated
that he had 5-10 years to live.

In 1956, mutual friends arranged a blind double date between Frank and a young lady named Patricia. It was
love at first sight for both of them. The families of the couple were not happy with their blossoming relationship.
This was a mixed marriage - he was Italian and she was Irish – and he was in a wheelchair. The couple planned
a small wedding at the hospital chapel. The tiny chapel was packed with both families, who finally supported
their union, Frank’s hospital friends and a few on-lookers. Years later, Frank was told by a quadriplegic attendee
that he had been contemplating suicide but Frank and Pat’s wedding had given him hope. He went on to marry
and adopt 3 children.

Frank and Pat adopted 4 children. The family moved to Florida in 1968. Frank became involved with the lo-
cal chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and volunteered many hours working for handicapped access.
Frank became Chapter President and was awarded the prestigious Sunshine Award from the national organiza-
tion. The family traveled to Europe in 1984 where Frank met and had his picture taken with Pope John Paul II
who had noticed Frank wearing his son’s Pope John Paul High School Wrestling Team sweatshirt!

My Dad passed away on February 12th at the age of 76 after 55 years of life as a paraplegic and 50 years of mar-
riage. When asked how he was doing, he always answered “Great!” He never complained about the pain he was
experiencing and spent his time worrying about others. While his service to his country is noteworthy, it was the
courage and dignity with which he lived his life after being injured that inspired those who knew him.

                                                                                    The Sunshine Spokesman   Page 13
Why Me?
Reprint of an Award-Winning Story
by Frank Chimera (Age 21, 9 months after he was injured)
The following brief, but intensely dramatic and tragically honest
story has been awarded the $50 first prize by the Times as the best
feature article entered in the 8th annual Hospitalized Veterans Writ-
ing Project conducted by volunteer workers in the Veterans Admin-
istration. The author titles it “As I’m Living It,” and described it as
“a true story taken from the files of my mind.”

NINE months ago I was existing on “Pork Chop Hill” in Korea, July 8, 1953, when I was hit with a Chinese hand
grenade . . . or was it Russian? I don’t remember which but it had my name on it. That I know.

 I’m 22 years old and a paraplegic. This means that I’m dead from the chest down – no movement, no sensation,
no feeling. Funny thing though, there’s pain . . . a lot of it . . . and of different kinds. I have a broken leg to boot; it
pains, yet I can’t feel a cigarette burn. There are scars on the lower part of my back that pain, too, yet I can’t feel a
hand on them.
   Then there’s the pain in my mind – pain that flares up at the sight of a person walking, and so oblivious to the fact
that he’s able to – or the sound of a song which I used to dance to – and the constant fight between bitterness and
logic. Try to understand . . . it’s not something that will pass in a year or two . . . this is for life!
. . .
PAIN is supposed to make you think. Thinking gives you wisdom, and wisdom makes life bearable, so the book
says. But I guess it’s true in spite of what people in constant pain say, we really want to live. Maybe we want to go
on living just to get an answer to that inevitable question why? Why did it happen? Why me? Why anybody else?
With me it’s why is my body here, yet it isn’t.

   Life means sadness, suffering and pain with a few laughs thrown in to break the monotony. Everybody complains,
yet more than anything each wants to live. What’s so bad about death? I never heard of anybody coming back and
complaining about it! Either they’re too busy and can’t get away or they must be having such a good time that they’d
rather stay. I’ve been a paraplegic for nine months which makes me a rookie in this racket. Yet that’s the span of
time which it takes a child to take shape in a woman’s womb. It’s also a lot of time in which to think, to get wise, to
grow up to the fact that this is it!
   Stop looking at the people better off than me and give a little thought to those worse off. And believe me, there’s
a gang of them.
   I don’t exactly roll around with four leaf clovers painted on my wheelchair, but I do consider myself lucky.
. . .
   I GUESS at this time it’s also time to take stock on what I have and what I haven’t. Let’s take the latter first. The
day the doctor stood over me like a judge pronouncing sentence, I felt like part of the court – but not like the victim
– when he said, “First, you’ll never walk again. Second, you’ll never move your bowels on your own. Third, you’ll
never have children and you’ll never be able to perform the act.”
   The only thing missing was the pounding of the gavel and the words, “The case is closed.”
   That’s when I asked for the gun with one bullet, because I didn’t intend to miss.
    These are the things I’ll have to do without. It sounds cold and feels inhuman. What so many people take for
granted I have to do without.
   From what you gathered I’m not the happiest guy in the world. Tell me, who could stake a claim to that title?
. . .
THIS IS my life, and, let’s face it, I want to live as long as possible. Maybe it’s my competitive instincts. Maybe it’s
for the few laughs or the few good things like my family and friends or maybe curiosity. Then and again maybe it’s
just to answer that inevitable question – Why me?

 Well, most stories have a moral, so I guess I’ll follow the fashion. “A man always complained about having no
shoes ‘till he met a man with no feet.”

Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 14
                                            PVAF Clubhouse
The PVAF Clubhouse is the Sunshine’s Spokesman’s way of
making our members feel at home. Here we introduce new                        Meet Us at the
members, remember past friends, and   celebrate birthdays.                     Ballpark!
February                  Birthdays   March                   Birthdays      In recognition of
Robert B. Daugherty            2/01   Charles W. Dawson            3/01
                                                                            PVA Awareness Week,
John V. Fox                    2/01   John K. Davis                3/03    Let’s show our numbers
Alex B. Rosado                 2/01   Zabariel Moss                3/03        and support the
Aaron Combs                    2/02   Jack Richman                 3/03        PVA Community
Jose A. Maldonado              2/02   Stacey L. Russell            3/03        Health Booth at
Thomas G. Neel                 2/03   Jack P. Krist                3/07      the Florida Marlins
Frank E. Whitlock              2/04   John A. McManus              3/08       vs Atlanta Braves
David T. Wilson                2/04   Fabiola Munoz                3/08         Baseball game.
Thomas W. Kelly                2/05   Francisco A. Abreu           3/09
Charles J. Zeigler             2/05   Anthony F. Czajkowski        3/09        Dolphin Stadium
Angelo Panozzo                 2/08   Eduardo Parker               3/09          Wednesday
Luis A. Guerra                 2/09   Samuel Fletcher              3/10        April 16th, 2008,
Darryl J. Carter               2/10   Todd G. Wilhelm              3/10           6:30 p.m.
Gordon A. Parrish              2/10   Andrew Akyaz                 3/11
Martin Weissberg               2/10   Nicholas D. Berger           3/12        Information:
Joseph J. Cicero               2/11   Albert C. Banfe              3/13
Basdeo Deosaran                2/11   Steven Holloway              3/13
Manuel A. Guzman               2/11   Ronald McGinnis              3/13
Franklin O. Payne              2/11   Gena S. Chavis               3/18       Membership Report
Richard P. Glazer              2/12   Arthur Chaykin               3/18
Solomon Nichols                2/12   Timonthy H. Kelly            3/20
                                                                              PVAF reports that as
Luis A. Calderon               2/13   Joe P. Buscher               3/21      of January 25th, 2008,
Albert F. Carbonari            2/13   Joseph P. O’Rourke           3/24      our membership is 421
Alvin E. Kublin                2/14   Forrest G. Ward              3/24          members & 156
Charles W. Rivenburgh          2/14   Dale C. Welsh                3/24
Christopher M. Gomez           2/16   Frank M. Casey               3/25       Associate Members.
Kenneth M. Price               2/17   John J. DiMaio               3/25
Christopher S. Woodford        2/17   Dallas F. Lutz               3/25
Beverly G. Muzychko            2/18   Robert J. McKenney           3/25      PVAF EXTENDS OUR
James H. Trepp                 2/19   George Williams              3/25       SYMPATHY TO THE
Julia Whiley                   2/20   Gregory L. Walsh             3/28     FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Wayne D. McChesney             2/21   Gerardo B. Couzo             3/29                 OF:
William O. Mc Duffie           2/22   Paul R. DeNardis             3/29           Chimera, Frank
Ernest A. Razzano              2/23   Beverly Durham               3/29         Imhoff, G. Dewey
James E. Simpson               2/23   Donald M. McCormack          3/29
                                                                              Lancaster, Marcus R.
Loreen M. Zerby                2/25   Rhett C. Chalk               3/31
Glenn Metzler                  2/27                                            Mitchell, Robert C.
Edward Franqui                 2/28                                               Ornoff, Anita T.
Robert J. Hendrickson          2/28           PVAF WELCOMES                    Salome, William J.
George E. Manter               2/28            NEW MEMBER:                       Selden, Steven T.
Brenda L. Richardson           2/28            Wilhelm., Todd G.               Silvers, Kenneth N.
Denise E. McAlpin              2/29                                              Taylor, James S.

                                                                          The Sunshine Spokesman   Page 15
 VA Gets Veterans to ‘Move’
‘Weighing In’ with Exercise, Sports, Personal Medical Records
                                                                                    Electronic Health
WASHINGTON (March 3, 2008) - With more than 70 percent of patients                  Records Becoming
coming to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care found to
be overweight, VA is boosting its efforts to increase veterans’ fitness through
                                                                                    A Priority For US
exercise, good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. “VA’s patients should consid-      Healthcare Systems
er themselves partners with our health professionals in managing their own
care,” said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “They need to        The Reno Gazette-Journal
ensure they eat right, exercise regularly and stay on the move.”                    (2/25, Hidalgo) reports, “With
                                                                                    the federal government setting
MOVE, in fact, is the name for a VA program at each of the Department’s             a 2012 target for all Americans
153 medical centers in which veterans have their body fat measured and              to have manageable electronic
receive “prescriptions” for exercises and nutrition. VA officials say the need      health records, replacing the old
for fitness is clear. Not only do its veteran patients have a higher rate of obe-   paper record is becoming a top
sity than the rest of the country’s population, but 20 percent of VA patients       priority for health care systems
also have diabetes, a rate almost three times higher than other Americans.          nationwide.”
                                                                                    Retired Army Sergeant Jerry
Under VA’s MOVE program, diabetic patients get regular screenings of blood          Gunnels “has seen a glimpse of
sugar levels and other problem areas. Patients can complete a questionnaire         the future with electronic health
about their lifestyle and vital signs that gives doctors information about how      records -- also known as EHR
to best support patients’ efforts to improve their lifestyles. Veterans and VA      -- as a patient in the Veterans
employees are eligible to take part in a “Champions Challenge” by commit-           Administration Sierra Nevada
ting themselves to walk 100 miles in 100 days. Applications can be made             Health Care System,” and now
                                                                                    “the 63-year-old Carlin resident
online at http://www.move.va.gov/challenge.asp.                                     is wondering how he ever man-
MOVE and the “Champions Challenge” are part of a broader VA program                 aged without it.”
called, HealthierUS Veterans. A joint project between VA and the Depart-            Proponents of EHR “said the
ment of Health and Human Services, HealthierUS Veterans educates vet-               system offers several advantag-
erans and their families about the risks of obesity and diabetes, and en-           es,” but implementing an EHR
                                                                                    system “comes with its set of
courages them to eat healthy, stay active and get fit for life.

Critics Say Government Is Underfunding Veterans’ Healthcare
 The AP (3/6, Brooks) reported the high number of wounded soldiers saved in Iraq comes at “a financial price,”
one “veterans groups and others claim the government is unwilling to pay.” The White House “requested...$41.2
billion” for veterans’ medical care in its 2009 budget, but “critics say that is not enough for a system” with a back-
log of about 400,000 pending medical claims and complaints, especially in mental healthcare. Department of Vet-
erans Affairs Secretary James Peake “said that funding for VA medical care requested for next year is ‘more than
twice what it was seven years ago,’” but Linda Bilmes, an expert on budgeting and public finance, “says the VA is
hoping to offset some...costs through increased fees and co-payments -- putting more of the burden for health care
costs back on soldiers.” Meanwhile, Veterans for Common Sense Executive Director Paul Sullivan “said the VA’s
budget request...also does not pay adequate attention to chronic problems facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,
such as drug and alcohol addictions.”
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 16
                                                                 system, direct tv, large drive-
                                                                 way, low electric bills, nicely        Advertisers
                                Brickell Biscayne                landscaped. 2.5 miles from
                                                                                                       in This Issue
                                (Brickell Area - Miami)          the VA medical center. Just
The Sunshine Spokes-            Waterfront Corner, 2/2 SE        reduced - asking $149,900.
                                                                                                      Auto Mobility,
man classified section          Unobstructed View, Par-          Call David @ 561-346-6155.          Sales Inc.......pg7
is provided at no cost          quet Floors, Open Walls,         By appointment only.
to PVAF members.                Eat-In Kitchen and Design-       Sport Fishing Boat for sale
                                                                                                    Craig W. Fergus &
Please call Mike Fos-           er Bathrooms, Wraparound         23ft Legacy Sierra, Cuddy
ter by the first of the         Balcony and Covered Park-        Cabin walk-around with                 Custom
month prior to pub-             ing. WheelChair Friendly.        200hp Ocean Runner, hard               Mobility
lication if you would           $320,000.Milton Johnson          top, float-on trailer, low-         & Seating...pg18
like to advertise with          305-753-3012.       Request      hours, very good condition.
us: 954-565-8885.               pictures at: miltonjoh@aol.      Asking $13,500. Call Mike             Independent
                                com.                             @ 954-854-6670.                         Mobility

                                                                                                       Counselor at
                                                                     PVAF has power
                                                                     wheelchairs and                   Movin’ On
                                House for sale by owner            other medical equip-
                                Move in ready                       ment and supplies                    Ocean
                                Newly renovated 3 bed-                                                Conversions &
                                room, 2 bath house in Rivi-          available for loan               Mobility....pg23
                                era beach 13’x16’ master            to Members or Ap-
                                bedroom with master bath           plicants with a need.              Originator Corp
                                and large closet, large kitch-                                            .....pg17
The VA’s 2008 Benefits          en, living room and dining         Call us today we may
Booklet is now available on-    room, fenced in backyard           have what you need.               RollxVans....pg5
line at http://www1.va.gov/     with 12’x16’ wood deck,                954-565-8885
OPA/vadocs/current_ben-         storage shed, new appli-                                              Sunshine State
efits.asp.                      ances, laundry, security             or pvaf@aol.com                    Hurricane

                                                                                                      Certified Nursing
                                                                                                    Companion (CNA) to
                                                                                                   take care of your loved
                                                                                                     one. Specializing in
Easy Stand in excellent con-                                                                        elder care. Excellent
                                                                                                   references call Pauline
dition for sale. Asking price
                                                                                                      (954) 735-9064 or
$1000. or best offer. Call                                                                             (954)793-8353
Andy at 786-271-7863.

                                                                                          The Sunshine Spokesman      Page 17
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 18
                                                   is looking for
                                                    Members to
                                                     work with:
                                              Event Planning
                                               Get Involved Today!
                                               (954) 565-8885
                                               (800) 683-2001

               Wheelchair & Scooter Lifts * Full Size & Mini Vans
                    Hand Controls and Adaptive Equipment
               We service all major brands of mobility equipment
3 Florida Locations                                     Sales
   to serve you:
   Ft. Myers                                                   Rentals
 (239) 275-1900
                                                       “We Adapt to Your Needs”
 (954) 929-9393                                             NEW BRAUN
                VA/VR Approved, Worker’s Compensation
                     and Most Insurance Accepted            ENTERVANS
West Palm Beach
                                                             IN STOCK!
 (561) 881-5600      www.movinonmobility.com

                                                         The Sunshine Spokesman   Page 19
                                                     Edna Orr, RN
                                                     With Sincere Appreciation, PVAF
                                                     Congratulates you on your retire-
                                                     ment and thanks you for 35 years
                                                     of exemplary service at the Miami
                                                     VA and your care for our members.

                                                 PVAF Remembers
                                                     Your Contributions...

           Marc Lancaster (1956 - 2008)                            Marion “Mac” Glasgow (1923-2008)
PVAF remembers Marc Lancaster a.k.a “Super-                With the passing of Mac Glasgow PVAF and the dis-
quad” He was an inspiration and role model to many         abled community has lost a true champion for dis-
people. Marc handled adversity with marked deter-          ability access and rights. Mac an 84 year old WWII
mination and accomplished feats that amazed many           Army veteran, died at the Miami VA February 10th,
of us who knew him. He won several medals at the           2008. PVAF Members who knew of his work in the
veterans wheel chair games and was an avid sailor          legislature and community for transportation access
at Shake-a-leg Miami where he participated in sev-         and rights for the disabled community nicknamed
eral regattas. He studied to be a teacher but because      him “Minister of Transportation”. He was part of the
of medical problems he was unable to realize that          Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating
dream, He never lost faith, fought depression, and         Board and involved with the Miami Special Trans-
turned his life around with the love of his daughter       portation Service (STS) since it began in the 1970’s.
Katrina and encouragement from his friends. He will        Mac was a long time member of PVAF advocacy
be sadly missed.                                           Committee and will be truly missed.
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication   Page 20
          On Location

                               On ton DC,Hill 08
                                     the March 20
Donald Thomas represented PVAF at the 2008 Advocacy and Legislation Seminar in Virginia. Pictured
with Donald above are (L Top - R Bottom) PVA Florida’s Gulf Chapter George “Ben” Ritter and Laura
Nimz (PVA Central Florida Chapter), The Washington Monument , Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtin-
en, Representative. Mario Diaz Balart, The Capitol Building, Senator Bill Nelson, The Lincoln Me-
morial, Representative Lincoln Diaz Balart, Congressman Ron Klein.

                                                                      The Sunshine Spokesman   Page 21
We want to hear from you. Let us know what you think about our changes to the newsletter,
    what you want to see in the future, your favorite recipe or funniest joke. Please write
us at WWW.PVAF.ORG Attn: Editor, or send us your letter by regular US Mail to our office.
              at 3799 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.
Paralyzed Veterans Association
of Florida, Inc.
3799 N. Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Change Service Requested


VA Regional Office, St. Petersburg              Loan Guaranty Eligibility Center
P O Box 1437                                    (certificates of eligibility)
St. Petersburg, FL 33731                        P O Box 20729
1-800-827-1000                                  Winston Salem, NC 27120
Regional Processing Office
Atlanta, GA (educational claims)                Nat’l. Cemetery Admin. Office of Memorial
P O Box 54346                                   Programs: (headstones & markers)
Atlanta, GA 30308                               810 Vermont Avenue NW
1-888-442-4551                                  Washington, DC 20420
Veterans Health Administration
Toll-Free Hotline (medical care)                Telecommunications Device for the
1-877-222-8387                                  Deaf (TDD) Unit
                                                Chicago VA Regional Office
VA Insurance Center, Philadelphia               1-800-829-4833
(VA Insurance)
P O Box 42954                                   Local VA Medical Center:
Philadelphia, PA 19101                          Miami: 1201 NW 16 Street
1-800-669-8477                                  Miami, FL 33125
VA Health Administrative Center:
(CHAMPVA and Spina Bifida health care)          WPB: 7305 N Military Trail
CHAMPVA inquiries:                              WPB, FL 33410-6400
P O Box 65023, Denver, CO 80206-5023            1-800-972-8262
CHAMPVA claims:
P O Box 65024, Denver, CO 80206-5024            Oakland Park Outpatient Clinic
Spina Bifida inquiries and claims:              5599 N Dixie Highway
P O Box 65025, Denver, CO 80206-5025            Fort Lauderdale, FL
1-800-733-8387                                  954-771-2101

                         Visit our website at: www. pvaf.org

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