The Official Publication of The Paralyzed Veterans Association of Florida Incorporated
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
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
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
National Director PVA.......Charles Rivenburgh III
Executive Director.........................Michael Foster
Newsletter Editor............................Michael Foster
Administrative Assistant....................Nikki Baker
Newsletter Layout..............................Nikki Baker
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
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication Page 2
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sunshine Spokesman Page 3
Visit us on the web @
PVA Awareness Week
April 13th - 19th, 2008 Calendar of Events
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 email@example.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
The world is moved
along, not only by the
of its heroes, but also
by the aggregate of the
tiny pushes of each hon-
- 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).
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
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
In his March 7th testimony to Congress, Paralyzed Vet- and Trust Donations.
erans of America President, Randy Pleva urged Con-
gress to close the Veterans Healthcare Funding Gap es-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
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
12th Annual PVA NATIONAL TRAPSHOOT CIRCUIT
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
• ASSOCIATED ROLL-X VANS
PVA NATIONAL TRAPSHOOT CIRCUIT
• INVACARE CORPORATION® LOCAL HOST SPONSOR
• WINCHESTER AMMUNITION October 25– 27, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
CIRCUIT SPONSORS ARIZONA PVA
• BENELLI/STOEGER February 7– 9, 2008
FLORIDA GULF COAST PVA
• DPMS PANTHER ARMS
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.
• TRAP & FIELD
SHOOTING SPORTS PARTNERS April 25–27, 2008
• AVERY OUTDOORS
• 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
• NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION
& STEP OUTSIDE
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
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.
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 email@example.com Learn More at: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/east/story/439957.html
The Sunshine Spokesman Page 11
Did you receive
DISABILITY COMPENSATION, PENSION OR SURVIVORS’ BENEFITS
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS LAST YEAR?
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.
IS THE STIMULUS PAYMENT TAXABLE NEXT YEAR? No!
WILL THIS PAYMENT AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF VA BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE? No!
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
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
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
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
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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
PVAF has power
wheelchairs and Movin’ On
House for sale by owner other medical equip-
Move in ready ment and supplies Ocean
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org Hurricane
Companion (CNA) to
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The Sunshine Spokesman Page 17
Volume 52, Issue 1 Bimonthly Publication Page 18
is looking for
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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.
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 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 FACILITIES ADDRESSES & TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
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
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
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
Visit our website at: www. pvaf.org