Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter

January-February, 2009 Newsletter



Commander Eddie Humphrey

Senior Vice Commander Floyd Britting

1st Junior Vice Commander Dan Holden

2nd Junior Vice Commander Dennis O’Connell

3rd Junior Vice Commander Paul Kaminsky

4th Junior Vice Commander Dave May

Judge Advocate Gerard Boucher

Chaplain Tony Martino

Adjutant/Treasurer Steve Moffitt



Wilson Rourke, of N Eastham MA


Around the Internet:  Since Al Gore invented the Internet it has gain so mulch interest he should get a Nobel for what he achieved. Oh that’s right he did get a Nobel. Anyway if folks have not realized this yet, the Internet is a great asset for persons with vision loss. Get in the dog house go to the Internet, check out those online stores, pick up a fake diamond necklace or a new bass rig depending on which doghouse you might be in. Need some new vitamins, head for drugstore (dot) com. Birthdays, Holiday, get well, go to the Internet and send an E-Greeting. Want music, online again and at a far better price than one can buy music tracks in the store. Talking Books from the talking books Library, you guessed it, right there online. Here’s a good one, for most of your life you thought Fran Tarkington and the New York Giants got preempted by a show called Heidi and at the end of the game scored like three scores to pull out a win in the last few minutes. To settle a dispute that your recollection was quite incorrect as told to you by some New York Giants fan, you guessed it again, according to the Internet it wasn’t good old Fran, it was Oakland Raider’s Daryle Lamonica.

 Too quote Wikipedia (dot) com:  In professional American football, the Heidi Game (often referred to, facetiously, as the "Heidi Bowl") refers to a famous American Football League (AFL) game between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, played on November 17, 1968 in Oakland, California. This game is memorable largely as the result of a decision by the NBC television network to terminate the broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones with 65 seconds left to play in the game in favor of broadcasting a pre-scheduled airing of Heidi, a new made-for-TV version of the classic children's story.

With the Jets leading 32-29 with only 65 seconds left in the game, NBC programmers, eager to maintain their evening schedule, switched off the ostensibly decided game. However, the Raiders came back and scored 14 points, winning 43-32. Because of NBC's decision, no fan following the match on TV was able to see Oakland's comeback live. The complaints to the network indicated a new height of popularity for the game in the United States.

While millions of stunned football fans east of Denver suddenly found themselves watching Jennifer Edwards in Heidi, the Raiders scored two touchdowns on three plays and won the game 43-32 in what has been voted by fans as one of the 10 most memorable games in American football history. Daryle Lamonica completed a 20-yard pass to Charlie Smith. Jet Mike D’Amato grabbed Smith's facemask on the play and the 15-yard penalty put the Raiders into Jets territory on the 43-yard line. On the next play Smith caught a pass and ran by D'Amato for a 43-yard touchdown with 42 seconds left, putting Oakland ahead 36-32. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Jet Earl Christy fumbled the ball at the 10-yard line. The ball landed on the two-yard line where Raiders special teamer Preston Ridlehuber recovered it and took it in for a touchdown with 33 seconds left in the game.

Lucky for the speed of the Internet one can instantly research almost any topic prior to the establishment of a wager. Excellent research tool, too say the least.

Too old too learn new tricks?  Not a chance!  We got one blind veteran in Georgia, a young 97, and keeps up just fine with the rest of us. Actually has passed by most of us. After getting his computer from the VA he sat down and wrote a book and became a published author.

Come join the rest of the World-Wide-Web. It is an excellent adventure. A way to communicate, or just a tool to keep one’s mind active. It is not hard to learn, and the VA will set you up with all the tools and train you on how to get started. Talk with your VIST Coordinator to get started. Once you’re started connect to the web and venture over to the DAV Blind Veterans National Chapter’s website at www.davbvnc.com. From there you can link to other interesting sites or just find out what’s happening within the Blind Veterans National Chapter.

Hope to hear from you in Cyber-Space, Paul Kaminsky.


Poem Written By Joyce Johnson Merryweather Of Orem, Utah

The American Veteran

As I enjoy the rights of freedom I can't help but stop and pause. It was the sacrifice of veterans that protected Freedom's cause. As I breathe the air of freedom,

and travel freedom's lands,

I know that human freedoms were won by veterans' hands.

The world still cries of bondage, "Down with tyrants cruel reign!" And the veteran will be called upon to protect mankind again.

A veteran never talks or boasts of battles that were fought. No one will ever know the scars their fight for freedom brought. No one will ever know the pain those left at home endured. The waiting-watching-praying, until freedom was secured.

Too many have forgotten

the sacrifices veterans made. They've forgotten health and lives were the price that veterans paid.

Let us keep the memory of the ones who answered freedom's call .let us remember it was veterans

who won freedom for us all.

Above poem presented by: Gerard Boucher



The Social Security Administration published new rules for visual disorders in the Federal Register (71 FR 67037) on November 20, 2006. These rules became effective on February 20, 2007. As in he past, statutory/legal blindness continues to be defined as best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye; or a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of the visual field, in the better eye, subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees, as measured with a Goldmann II14e or equivalent size stimulus. Under the new rules, how visual acuity and visual field can be tested to meet this definition has changed. For visual field testing, the following measurements can be used:

1- Automated static threshold perimetry (Humphrey 30-2 and 24-2) a. For Humphrey Field Analyzers, a 10dB stimulus is equivalent to a 4e stimulus. A dB level that is higher than 10 represents a dimmer stimulus, while a dB level that is lower than 10 represents a brighter stimulus. Therefore, for automated static threshold tests performed on Humphrey Field Analyzers, any point seen at 10dB or higher are a point that would be seen with a 4e stimulus.

2- Kinetic perimetry, such as the Humphrey "SSA Test Kinetic" a. The kinetic test must use a white II14e stimulus projected on a white 31.5 apostilb (10 cd/m2) background.

3- Goldmann perimetry a. With a II14e target.

SSA will not use the results of visual field screening tests, such as confrontation tests, tangent screen tests, or automated static screening tests, to determine legal blindness.

For visual acuity testing, the criteria changed because most test charts that use Snellen methodology do not have lines that measure visual acuity between 20/100 and 20/200. Newer test charts, such as the Bailey-Lovie or the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS), do have lines that measure visual acuity between 20/100 and 20/200.

Under the new criteria, if a person's visual acuity is measured with one of the newer charts, and they cannot read any of the letters on the 20/100 line, they will qualify as legally blind, based on a visual acuity of 20/200 or less. For example, if the person's best-corrected visual acuity for distance in the better eye was determined to be 20/160 using an ETDRS chart, they would now be classified as legally blind. Regardless of the type of test chart used, the person will not be classified as legally blind if they can read at least one letter on the 20/100 line. For example, if a person's best-corrected visual acuity for distance in the better eye was determined to be 20/125+1 using an ETDRS chart, they would not be classified as legally blind because they were able to read one letter on the 20/100 line. To view the new rules please use the following link:




Navy Unit Awards 

It is not uncommon to see a DD-214 form from a potential member that doesn't reflect any qualifying awards. If you have access to the Internet, you can check eligibility. All you need to know is what unit the potential member was assigned to and when, along with the name of the ship or boat he/she was assigned to. There may be some former Navy people who are eligible for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and not  know it. The Navy has a Web site that has information on Navy unit awards. It is an alphabetical listings of ships, units and shore activities which have received awards and the dates earned. There is also a listing of units from the other branches that have received Navy awards. To access the information, please follow the steps below:

1. Go to


2.  At the Web site, select "Site Index"

3.  The Site Index is an alphabetical listing. Either select the letter "D" or scroll down to the "D" section. Select "Directives, Navy"

4.  Then select "Navy Directives Index"

5.  There will be a box with the word "SEARCH" in it. Below that, there will be a listing of tables. Select "Table 6. OPNAV

1640.7A to 1740.4A"

6. Next, select "1650 Unit Awards"

7. Follow the instructions on the screen


Hello all, I just finished reading this and thought since it has brought all the blind together in these subjects, I thought you might wish to take the

Time to read the topics. Your friend in the cause, Kirk Harmon

(This is a long article so I cut it down to send as different parts in future issues-the Editor)

Legislative Agenda of Blind Americans:

Priorities for the 111th Congress, FIRST Session

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States.  As the Voice

Of the Nation's Blind, we present the collective views of blind people throughout society.  All of our leaders and the vast majority of our members

Are blind, but anyone can participate in our movement.  There are an estimated 1.3 million blind people in the United States, and every year

Approximately 75,000 Americans become blind.  The social and economic consequences of blindness affect not only blind people, but also our

Families, our friends, and our coworkers.

Three legislative initiatives demand

The immediate attention of the 111th Congress in its first session:

1.     We urge Congress to ensure the safety of blind and other pedestrians by passing the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act.  This legislation would require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to:

·       Begin a study within ninety days of its enactment to determine the most practical means of assuring that blind and other pedestrians

Receive essentially similar information to what they now receive from sound emitted by internal combustion engines;

·       Determine the minimum amount of sound necessary to offer sufficient information for blind pedestrians to make safe travel judgments

Based on appropriate scientific research and consultation with blind Americans and other affected groups;

·       Within two years of beginning the study, promulgate a motor vehicle safety standard to address the needs of blind and other pedestrians

By requiring either a minimum level of sound or an equally effective means of providing the same information as is available from hearing internal combustion engines; and

·       Apply the standard to all motor vehicles manufactured or sold in the United States beginning no later than two years after the date it is promulgated.

2.     We urge Congress to work with blind Americans to create a Technology Bill of Rights for the Blind that mandates consumer electronics,

Home appliances, and office equipment to provide user interfaces that are accessible through nonvisual means.  This legislation should:

·       Mandate that all consumer electronics, home appliances, and office equipment be designed so that blind people can access the same

Functions as sighted people through nonvisual means and with substantially equivalent ease of use;

·       Create a commission comprised of essential stakeholders to establish standards for nonvisual accessibility of electronic devices

Intended for use in the home or office;

·       Endow the commission with enforcement powers or locate it within a government agency having such powers; and

·       Authorize it to reexamine and rewrite standards to keep pace with the evolution of consumer electronic technology.

3.     We urge Congress to promote and facilitate the transition by blind Americans from recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

To income-earning, taxpaying, productive members of the American workforce by enacting legislation to:

·       Replace the monthly earnings penalty with a graduated 3-for-1 phase-out (i.e., a $1 reduction in benefits for each $3 earned above the limit);

·       Replace the monthly earnings test with an annualized earnings test with an amount equal to twelve times. Substantial Gainful Activity amount; and

·       Establish an impairment-related work expense deduction for blind Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries equal to the

Amount applicable for this deduction when determining an appropriate income subsidy under Medicare Part D or 16.3 percent of earnings, whichever is greater.

Blind Americans need your help to achieve our goals of economic security, increased opportunity, and full integration into American

Society on a basis of equality.  Enactment of these legislative proposals will represent important steps toward reaching these goals.  We

Need the help and support of each member of Congress.  Our success benefits not only us, but the whole of America as well.  In this time of

National economic insecurity, these measures will contribute to increasing the tax base and encouraging the purchase of consumer goods.



If you have access to a computer below is a link that is worth checking out for several people with disabilities.




Every month, 730,000 veterans or survivors look for their compensation, pension checks or educational assistance payments in their mailboxes.  Nearly all receive them, but theft and mail delays cause problems for some veterans, which can be prevented by direct deposits.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is urging those veterans and family members now receiving paper checks to join nearly 3.1 million others whose VA payments are safely deposited electronically. "VA is teaming up with the Treasury Department in a new campaign to protect government beneficiaries against the theft of funds and of their identities," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "Veterans earned -- and rely on -- the financial support we send them every month.  I urge them to help VA ensure they get those funds reliably and safely by signing up for direct deposit." Peake cited several easy ways to sign up for direct deposit:

• Calling VA toll-free at (800) 333-1795.

• Enrolling online at www.GoDirect.org.

• Contacting a VA regional benefits office or their financial institution. 

Information about direct deposits will be included in VA's monthly compensation and pension envelopes throughout 2009. The VA Secretary urged veterans to remember that direct deposits relieve worry about mail delivery being delayed by severe weather or natural disasters.  The deposits also eliminate trips to banks or credit unions to deposit checks, while providing immediate access to money at the same time each month.



I want to take the time to thank Jim Fox for sending out the print version and recording the tape version and then sending them out. If you read this newsletter on line, then thank Paul Kaminsky for being our webmaster.


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody,

Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done, and

Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could.........

Does the above paragraph remind you of anyone? Please send articles for this newsletter via email to: navy1vet@verizon.net or by snail mailto: Dennis O’Connell, Editor BCDAV, 303 Carnation Avenue, Floral Park, NY 11001-3435