Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Ballad of Captain Z

For those of you who might not know how Project Valour IT got started?

Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005
During his deployment he kept a blog From My Position...On the Way
Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.

As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss' fellow wounded soldiers and started cast about for a way to get it to them.

A fellow blogger (blog author) who writes under the pseudonym FbL contacted Captain Ziegenfuss and the two realized they shared a vision of providing laptops with voice-controlled software to wounded soldiers whose injuries prevented them from operating a standard computer. FbL contacted Soldiers Angels, who offered to help develop the project, and Project Valour-IT was born.

In sharing their thoughts, CPT Ziegenfuss (now a Major) and FbL found that memories of their respective fathers were a motivating factor in their work with the project. Both continue their association with this project in memory of the great men in their lives whose fine examples taught them lasting lessons of courage and generosity.

In the years since its founding in 2005, the project has acted to meet emerging needs and its mission of supporting the the severely wounded has expanded. In addition to voice-controlled laptops, Valour-IT now helps provide active and whole-body video games such as Wii Sports, which is used to great effect in physical therapy, and personal GPS systems that help compensate for short-term memory loss and organizational/spacial challenges common in those with brain injuries.
Check out the video "Ballad of Captain Z"

(or the URL is here )

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Valour IT Video Contest

I'll leave it to Greta to give all the details:)

(or you can check the link at YouTube HERE )

or you can check out the details on the Official Valour IT blog

While I do have dear friends who have (possibly mistakenly,lol:)
signed up for Other Teams

the link to donate for Team Army is Here

Veteran's Day and Applebee's

If you haven't seen this yet, Veteran's and Active Duty Military are invited to eat
FREE at Applebee's on November 11th

as their way of saying THANK YOU! to those who have served, and are serving.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Spc. Justin Slagle
Spc. Justin Slagle
U.S. Army

Spc. Justin Slagle returns to Forward Operating Base Lane in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after an air assault mission in the Zabul province of Afghanistan, Oct. 15, 2009. Even as leaders in Washington struggle with the next steps in Afghanistan, troops there are moving to better protect the Afghan people by separating them from Taliban influence and intimidation.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Project Valour IT: Go! Team Army!

Today is the kick-off for the fundraiser for Soldiers Angels Project Valour IT

The Valour-IT Veterans Day Fundraising "Competition" was a developed as a fun way to raise money for a very serious project. Teams are purely for the sake of friendly competition, building on the natural inter-service rivalries of the U.S. Military.

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Technology supplied includes:

Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.

Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).

Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.

This blog (of course:) is registered for the competition with 'Team Army', which is headed by Blackfive

To donate via Team Army, you can click on the Valour IT widget on the right of this blog, or you can go here

The Valour IT fundraiser runs from today (Oct.26) through Nov.11.......please, give what you can, and also help spread the word......and Go! Team Army!

Soldiers Angels 'Day of the Deployed'

Today is the 4th Anuual

Soldiers Angels Day of the Deployed

As always, but especially today....our heartfelt Thank You, to those who are currently deployed!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Hero

Sailors & Marines Playing Volleyball With Local School Children
U.S. Navy

Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) play volleyball with students from Sangley Point National High School during a lunch break at a community service project. Tortuga, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are participating in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2009. PHIBLEX is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional relationships between the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Photo Courtesy Taken By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Holiday Card Drive for the Troops over at Operation Love From Home

Friend Kat at Operation Love From Home has started her holiday card drive for this year,
you can read all about it HERE

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Catching up on Wednesday Hero posts

Missed posting Wednesday Hero twice while we were gone, so wanted to link back to those posts on Chris' blog.......

the Wednesday Hero post for Oct. 7 was Sgt. Michael Egan

and the Wednesday Hero post for Oct. 14 was Cpl. Benjamin S. Kopp

Friday, October 16, 2009

Had a good experience at the V.A. Hospital...

as much as it's possible to Have a good experience when your loved one suddenly has major, unexpected surgery.

The cardiothoracic team that operated on my husband were all wonderful.

All of his nurses, in both ICU and the unit he moved to afterwards, were excellent.

and, the hospital's Voluntary Service's department also provided me with a room to stay in there at the hospital, for the 9 days we were there.which helped out a great deal.

Because we spent so many days up there, I spoke with some of the folks in Voluntary Services several times. and I'd like to pass on that they do accept, if you were interested in what they might need? here is some of the 'Wishlist' that Voluntary services gave me when I asked :

For Families

Personal care kits (including toothbrush,toothpaste, shampoo(small bottle),conditioner(small bottle),shave cream, razors, soap, deodorant, hand lotion

Phone cards

Gift certificates to area retail stores, grocery stores and restaurants

(that last would have helped out a Great the cafeteria for families was closed on the weekend and also the Monday holiday. Fortunately, I knew an 'Angel' [as in 'Soldiers Angel'] who very nicely spent part of her Saturday afternoon not only taking me to lunch, but also taking me by a grocery store to buy items I could keep and eat in my room. buying both my husband and I some other clothing to wear [since we hadn't packed for a 9 day stay,lol], and bringing me some 'SA' T-shirts to wear......thank you, "L' :)

so, anyway, if you get the urge to donate any of the above from the Wishlist ?

the address is:

Voluntary Services 135

Veterans Affairs Medical Center

50 Irving St. NW

Washington,DC 20422


for the 'lighter side' of our recent 'adventure', you can read a bit on my family blog
here and here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where have I been?

It's been quiet on the blog because on October 8th, my husband unexpectedly had to have triple bypass surgery......and we just got home from the hospital today,yay:)

Many,many thanks to all those who sent so much love, support and prayers!

more later....just wanted to update.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Don't forget the Soldiers Angels "SALE-ABRATION" Oct.3!

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Across the country this weekend, Americans are uniting in support of the troops through the First Annual Soldiers’ Angels Sale-abration.
In metropolitan areas, small towns and on military bases, from Alaska to Florida and Southern California to Vermont, patriots are raising money for troop support activities through community-based yard sales.
Angel volunteers organizing each Sale will be donating a percentage of their profits to Soldiers’ Angels, helping to support deployed or wounded soldiers.
The grassroots Sales are sponsored by military support nonprofit Soldiers’ Angels, whose motto is “May No Soldier Go Unloved.” An award-winning organization with nearly 200,000 hands-on volunteers around the world, Soldiers’ Angels assists active duty, wounded, veterans, military families through over 30 separate teams and projects.
Angels participating in Sale-abration are working on two missions: raising money for the Soldiers’ Angels Holidays for Heroes and Project Valour-IT, and introducing their neighbors to the variety of hands-on ways they can demonstrate their support for America’s military men and women. At each Sale, customers will find blankets and 300 holiday cards on which to write greetings for the troops, and Soldiers’ Angels bracelets will go to the first 25 customers at each site.
Want to know if there will be a sale going on near you?
Click HERE to check your state .
And hey, if you Don't find one listed near you? there is going to be a 25% OFF sale at the
(go HERE on the main Soldiers Angels website, to get the coupon code before ordering. The sale will run through midnight,Oct. 4th at the online Soldiers Angels store)
With over 1700 soldiers waiting for 'adoption' right now? this would be a nice time to click on the option when you're ordering to send to 'ANY Hero'.....and you can either remain anonymous, or send a note along with your order, and 'send some love' to one of our Heroes serving our country!