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USS Arizona Survivors Visit Washington DC

Lauren Bruner, Ken Potts and Donald Stratton are three of the five remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. During a recent visit to Washington DC they attended a formal wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The men were honored with a certificate and a coin from the Old Guard Third Infantry Regiment, who guard the tomb.

The survivors were also able to visit the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials. They spent time at the Pentagon and met with President Trump in the Oval Office.

More importantly, they came to Washington DC to lobby for the Navy Cross to be posthumously awarded to Joe George, the man responsible for saving both Bruner and Stratton, when the USS Arizona was attacked.

MobilityWorks was very happy to donate the use of 3 wheelchair vans to these amazing men and their families, so that they could travel easily around the city.  

The USS Arizona

The USS Arizona was attacked in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The USS Arizona remains where she sank in Pearl Harbor, as a Memorial to the lives lost that day. For more information please visit:   http://www.ussarizona.org/

Photos courtesy http://www.ussarizona.org

37th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 37th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games is right around the corner. The games are being held in Cincinnati, Ohio from July 17th to July 22nd, 2017. Local Cincinnati venues where most of the events are being held include: Duke Energy Convention Center; Stargel Stadium; Fairfield Sportsmen’s Association; and the Powel Crosley Jr YMCA. There are 19 different sports to watch and attendance is free.

The games will also feature a Kids Day on the 19th for children with disabilities in the Cincinnati area.

Co-presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), athletes from all over the United States will be participating in the games. Any veteran with a spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, amputations and other neurological injuries that uses a wheelchair for sport, and is eligible for care through the VA, can participate!

While in town enjoying the games, stop at the Recreation & Fitness Expo located at the Duke Energy Center, Booth #129 on Monday, July 17th. We will have an exhibit, and look forward to seeing you.

To learn more about the NVWG and how to volunteer click here.

Country Music Stars Donate Wheelchair to Wounded Veteran

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The country duo Florida Georgia Line are quickly becoming some of the biggest stars in music. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard released their third album last year, and have been touring all over North America in 2017.  As a part of their “Dig your Roots” tour the group decided they wanted to do something special. Earlier this month they donated an all-terrain wheelchair to retired Army Staff Sergeant Shane Savage. Shane and his family also received free tickets to the show — and just days prior were told the exciting news that they would get to meet the band and be part of a special presentation.

To make this all possible, the band partnered with The Independence Fund, a non-profit organization based out of Charlotte, NC that was founded in 2007. Over the past 10 years, they have donated 1,750 off-road power chairs to America’s heroes. The organization has also received national media attention with the support of Fox News.

The wheelchair that was donated is an Action Trackchair, which instead of wheels, has a durable rubber track similar to that of a military vehicle. This allows the user to travel across practically any terrain including water, mud or snow. It comes complete with an easy to maneuver joystick control  and can be tilted 20 degrees in any direction.

Florida Georgia Line will be donating several more wheelchairs as they continue their tour this summer. Congratulations to Shane and we thank you for your service to our country!

Click here for more information on The Independence Fund and to find out how you can get involved.

Veterans Mobility Safety Act Passes in Congress

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Several veteran and mobility related organizations have been working together for months to help get House Bill 3471 passed.  Known as the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, it now only needs President Obama to sign the bill into law which is expected to happen later this month.

The Veterans Mobility Safety Act will require vendors who supply veterans with accessible equipment to demonstrate compliance with quality and safety standards. The money that veterans receive for accessible products comes from the Automobile Adaptive Equipment program (AAE). Organizations such as Paralyzed Veterans of America and NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association) applauded the new regulations.

“Requiring that vendors offering AAE services be certified in accordance with minimum quality and safety standards is simply a matter of common-sense.” said Dave Hubbard, CEO of NMEDA.

Several other veteran-related bills passed in the house this week and will now go to the senate for consideration. An amendment to the No Hero Left Untreated Act calls for a one-year pilot program. Under this act, veterans returning from overseas will receive free care and treatment for conditions like PTSD, TBI and chronic pain. The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2016 was created last week. It will require the Department of Labor to better recognize employers’ efforts to recruit and retain veteran employees.

Here at MobilityWorks, we are proud to assist our veterans every day, and we thank them for their service and sacrifices. Click here for more information on Veterans Assistance Resources.

MobilityWorks is a member of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), which supports more than 600 mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers and driver rehabilitation specialists in the U.S. and Canada. NMEDA is committed to providing citizens with safe and reliable adaptive transportation through our Quality Assurance Program (QAP) and QAP Accredited Dealers like MobilityWorks.

Veterans Benefits Administration Increases Special Auto Allowance

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Beginning October 1, 2016, eligible Service Members and Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities were granted an increase in the VA Auto Allowance program of (no more than) $20,235 toward the purchase of a vehicle. This is a one-time lifetime grant. Those qualified for the automobile grant may also qualify for the adaptive equipment grant, which is not limited to one time use.

It’s important to note that all individuals need to have prior VA approval before purchasing a vehicle.

Adaptive Equipment Eligibility

Certain Service Members and Veterans may also be eligible for adaptive equipment grants. This type of equipment may include things like power seats and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. Wheelchair lifts and scooter stowage devices are other examples.

As with the Auto Allowance program, all individuals must have prior VA approval before purchasing any adaptive equipment.

Scheduling a Needs Analysis at MobilityWorks

Veterans who qualify for the Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants are encouraged to contact a MobilityWorks consultant to schedule a free needs analysis and ingress/egress assessment with your current wheelchair or mobility scooter. We can also help you to obtain the necessary requirement and procedure information from the local VA Medical Center. Conversion manufacturers and other industry suppliers may also provide veterans with discounted pricing and/or rebates.

For More information, go to:

VA Benefits – Special Auto Allowance

MobilityWorks Veterans Assistance Page