11 November 2008


I was at Chuck Z's today, and it seems that Valour-IT is out of money. If you've never heard of Valour-IT here is the page from Soldier's Angels that explains:

Project Valour-IT

(formerly Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops)
In memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss

It was the first time I felt whole since I’d woken up wounded in Landstuhl.
–Major Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, on using a voice-controlled laptop

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

The experience of Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important these laptops and other technologies can be to a wounded service member's recovery.

January 18th, 2006

Dear Mrs. Smith,

It was brought to my attention that your organization, Soldier's Angels, did something very special for the Marines of our Injured Support Battalion. I want to take this time and thank you so much for your contribution to make special memories for those who sacrifice so much.

Your contribution of laptops is quite above and beyond. I am grateful that you have taken time to honor our injured heroes.

I remain...

Very cool. The fund raising goal is $250,000. The bloggers representing the branches of the military are having a friendly competition to see who can reach the goal of $50,000 quickest. Chuck is part of Team Army, Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette is part of Team Air Force, Laughing Wolf from Blackfive is also part of Team Army, you get the picture. This morning Team Navy had already raised $3K while the other branches were not so flush. Much as I love the Navy, I was thinking the little squids had enough help and I needed to help out the other branches and got waylaid by children. Checking back this evening I see Team Army has caught up, but that the poor little Coasties are hurting....like usual. So, I am rethinking to whom I will donate. As Chuck Z says

Look, you don't have to donate your life savings. Just figure out how much you spend on mini-luxuries for a week. Five trips to starbux is $30. Drink coffee at work instead, and you've sacrificed little, but you can now contribute three percent of a laptop. Think about your weekly luxuries. What can you do without, so that you can give the gift of modern functionality to someone who needs it?

It's important. It's something you can do to give, really give, someone such a great gift this holiday season. While we focus on being thankful for what we have , take a little time to remember what others have recently lost, and know that the only thing stopping them from regaining a piece of what they've lost--is you.

So, guys and dolls if you're feelin' it here are the donation links and the running tally!

On an absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC note, Books for Soldiers made their fundraising goal and will be around for another year to support those deployed! YAY!

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