"But tonight, we turn the page."
Sherman Gillums Jr.
Army specialist Curtis Spivey became a paralyzed veteran with a traumatic brain injury following an IED blast in Iraq. He died at a VA medical center after suffering a brain aneurysm. His wife, Aida, and 2-year old daughter, Marianna, would subsequently experience hard times that would endure well beyond the grief of losing Curtis. Money, benefits, and support would serve as mere band aids to the emotional hemorrhaging they feel to this very day. It is those stories that our service officers and clinical advocates never forget as they carry out our mission. We will not turn the page on our veterans, their families, and caregivers for, in the words of Plato, "only the dead have seen the end of war."
Paralyzed Veterans of America reinforces its commitment to ensuring that a new generation of veterans comes home and enjoys the opportunity to live the American Dream they helped defend. Whether that means holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for reducing the disability claims backlog, delivering timely and quality healthcare, or fostering career opportunities, Paralyzed Veterans will not relent. Even as we ensure accountability, we gladly assume the burden of caring for those who have borne the battle through the myriad programs and services we offer, free of charge and with no government support, for our nation's heroes.
It is through their lives that the story of this era is still being written and the cost of war still being accrued. Paralyzed Veterans of America calls on our government leaders and ordinary citizens to follow through on the promise to support our heroes. That promise includes timely delivered benefits that should not be eroded or viewed as a handout. It also includes continued investment in the VA healthcare system, which represents the only hope for successful transition and recovery for the many severely disabled veterans.
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Sherman Gillums Jr., Deputy Executive Director of Paralyzed Veterans of America and paralyzed veteran