Veterans help Alcoa amputee get his freedom back with wheelchair ramp

ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT)– An East Tennessee war veteran got his freedom back. The amputee was a prisoner in his own home; unable to get down the stairs in his wheelchair — until now.

“Gets me out of my house,” Steve Lundy, a war veteran from 1976, said.

The Alcoa veteran relies on a wheelchair to get around, but had no way of getting down his front steps

Thanks to veterans helping each other, that’s no longer the case.

“Oh my god, why me?” Steve asked. The 65-year-old was born with poor circulation in his legs. He served overseas in the 1970’s, but with trouble walking, he was honorably discharged.  In November this year, with Steve’s life on the line, doctors amputated. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less“] 

Left to right
Steve Lundy, Mike Kennedy, Ron Hansen and James Lawson (DAV 76)

“If it’s my time to go, then it will happen on the table. Thank God I came out of it,” he said. And the fight isn’t over. “Now my right toe is getting black.”

With the possibility of becoming a double amputee, Steve said he needs all the help he can get. Which is why just a ramp means getting his life back.

Ed Junod is President of Vet to Vet Tennessee said they have helped ten (10)veterans in the last 12 months who were in need in Blount and Monroe Counties. Even though the wheel chair ramp construction on Steve’s home is done, the project is far from over.

The “Repairs for Heroes” program was created  by Vet to Vet Tennessee in September 2017 as a joint venture pilot program with Blount County Habitat For Humanity.   Since then VTVT has partnered with Amvets Post 22 and Monroe County Disabled American Veterans Post #93.

VTVT funded the project and was supported by the Alcoa Disabled American Veterans Post #76 Mike Kennedy, Ron Hansen, and James Lawson and Shore Building Inc Carpenter John Garland and his son John J. Garland and Steve’s friend Bryan Adkins.  We are also grateful to Nathan Weinbaum, Blount County Veteran Service Officer for referring Steve to VTVT.

You can connect with Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) by contacting (865) 336-2624 or by logging on to www.tnvhc.org.

Junod also reminds veterans of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) HISA program, or the Home Improvement Structural Alteration.  If veterans need a wheelchair, the VA may help pay for home improvements before the surgery takes place.  Click here to view the VA’s HISA requirements.

Click here to view more photos.  [/read]

Happy Thanksgiving

On October 3, 1863, in the midst of the bloodiest war America has ever fought, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

All of us at Vet to Vet Tennessee wish the men and women of our Armed Forces a Happy Thanksgiving.  We thank you for serving our country and we pray for your safety.  We also wish a Happy Thanksgiving to our military families – the most special group of all.

Only those who have experienced an airport or pier-side goodbye hug for a loved one leaving in uniform truly know what they endure.  Alone on this Thanksgiving, they bravely shoulder their families’ burdens because words like “duty” and “service” mean something to them.

Thank you and God Bless all of you this Thanksgiving.

Monroe County Veterans Court Graduation

Two veterans were very thankful for participating and completing the Monroe County Veterans Court (MCVC) program during the graduation ceremony the day before Thanksgiving. Congratulations Army Veteran Mitchell Greene and Marine John Potorski!

The ceremony was lead by MCVC Judge Dwaine Thomas and was joined by the Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram, Madisonville Mayor Glenn Moser, Vonore Mayor Bob Lovingood , numerous  Monroe County Committee members. Assistant District Attorney, Vet to Vet Tennessee Officers and mentors and special guest, Helen Ross McNabb Military Services Center Therapist Lisa Wilkerson and University of Louisville Practicum student Tiffany Peters.

Thanks to the support and services from the Mountain Home VAMC and Helen Ross McNabb Services Center, John and Mitchell have made worked hard to modify their behavior which improved the quality of their lives, their families and friends and their communities.

Click here to view the graduation photos.

VA takes key step to improve its website to provide Veterans an enhanced digital customer experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2018
VA takes key step to improve its website to provide Veterans an
enhanced digital customer experience
WASHINGTON — This week the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took a key step in its digital modernization effort by
revamping its website accessed by 10 million customers per month who use VA’s tools and content online.
To improve this experience VA’s Veterans Experience Office and VA Digital Service gathered feedback from more than 5,000 Veterans,
service members, their families, caregivers and survivors. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less“] 
Many customers said they were having a frustrating experience, encountering a complicated collection of websites, forms, logins and tools.
Through feedback, VA learned that many of them struggled to find what they needed. By listening to Veterans and working across VA
organizational boundaries, the new VA.gov website shifts from a “VA as an organization” to a “customer-first” platform.
“Veterans, their families, caregivers and our many customers have successful online transactions in their day-to-day lives,” said VA
Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They should expect the same exceptional digital experience when coming to VA. Our customers will receive a more
simple and intuitive experience when accessing our online front door – the new VA.gov.”
The new site contains homepage content that focuses on the top 20 tasks that 80 percent of VA’s customer’s need, the ability to login to
receive a personalized experience and easy to understand plain language content. Logged in customers will find a dashboard summarizing the
current status of services they receive from VA, whether those services are provided by the Veterans Health Administration – such as prescription
refills or the Veterans Benefits Administration – such as claim status. Customers can also update their contact information in one location rather
than visiting multiple VA websites or making multiple calls.
VA is demonstrating that it is possible for Federal agencies to give the American people the online experience they expect and deserve. VA
has been identified as the “co-lead” of the White House cross-agency priority goal on improving customer service.
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