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Project Valour-IT: Give a Wounded Vet a Lifeline This Week

3:03 PM, Oct 28, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The annual Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT is on again! That means you can use three minutes of your day and your credit card to bring some serious help to a wounded veteran by clicking here:

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Project Valour-IT brings voice-activated laptops, Wii game systems, and GPS systems to recuperating veterans with serious injuries to limbs, traumatic brain injury and memory loss, and sever PTSD. Every little bit that you can help will bring those who have sacrificed the most closer and closer to reclaiming their lives.

I spoke with Maj. Chuck Ziegenfuss, for whom the program was started:

"I got blown up. That's it in a nutshell."

That's Maj. Chuck Ziegenfuss' summary of June 21, 2005-the day when a mortar buried neatly, seamlessly under the asphalt of a road north of Baquba, Iraq went off under his feet, ripping new, unnatural seams in both of his arms and legs, bruising his corneas, and sending him into a long, rough recovery.

When he woke up in a hospital bed at Walter Reed four days later, he faced the enormity of his pain and the recovery ahead of him. He thought it would help him cope if he could get in touch with his fellow soldiers back in Iraq, his blog readers, and friends and relatives, but there were two problems. The only computers were a painful walk down the hallways of Walter Reed, and he did not yet have the use of his hands for typing. Soldiers' Angels, with the help of an anonymous donor, supplied Ziegenfuss with a laptop with voice-recognition software. It gave him a connection to the world, the world he'd known, just when it had seemed farthest away.

"When you're lying in that bed, you're thinking, ‘All right, they say I'm gonna live, but what kind of life will I have?' I'm having thoughts like, ‘I'll never be able to hold my children again. I'm never gonna be able to teach my son to play catch.' That is just so incredibly unbearable…Getting the software and being able to get back to that one bit of normal life…it was so much of a relief."

Since then, Project Valour-IT has helped thousands of wounded soldiers regain that first, tiny but crucial bit of independence after a devastating injury. Will you help another one today? Click here:

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