Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1

January-February, 2010 Newsletter






Commander Dennis O’Connell
Phone 516 328-3438

Senior Vice Commander Richard Bugbee
1st Junior Vice Commander Joe Wallace
2nd Junior Vice Commander Ralph Barrett
Judge Advocate Dave May
Chaplain Tony Martino
Phone 847 736 2111

Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky

Phone 904 291-0576

Immediate Past Commander Eddie Humphrey


If you know of any member who is sick or deceased please inform one of the officers whose contact information is listed above.




Happy 85th Anniversary to the Blind Veterans National Chapter #1 of the Disabled American Veterans!

Also, last December 21 our Past Commander, Eddie Humphrey and his wife Marie, celebrated their 52nd Wedding Anniversary.

A new year is starting with our National Convention just a little over 6 months away. Wouldn’t it be nice to increase the number of delegates to the Convention in Atlanta? To do so we have to increase our membership and that would be up to all of us to do just that. Just check with other blind veterans you know and find out if they are SC for anything. If so, tell them about this chapter and give them an application which can be down loaded from our web site or just ask Paul Kaminsky to send you some.

January 8th I will be at the Manhattan VAMC to get a Cochlear Implant in my right ear. It takes about 4 weeks for the healing process before I get the central Processor and the long time period of mapping starts. So if you see me and say hello on my right side I’m not ignoring you. It should be a good test at the Mid Winter meetings with just 4 mapping sessions to see if I’m hearing better at meetings.



William (Bill) Burgess

186 Beechwood Lane, Palm Coast, FL 32137

Harlan dillon

809 Floyd Avenue, Rome, NY 13440

Joseph McVeigh

106 Terrace Avenue, Elmont NY 11003

William (Bill) Stedman

23 Mill Road, Hyde Park NY 12538-2065


Rest in Peace:

David D. Bottigoi

Hilltop Village APT 408, 25900 Euclid Ave, Euclid OH 44132



Our application to donate a DAV van to the Tucson Blind Rehabilitation Center  was received by the Columbia Trust for that van was received by them. Now we wait for approval. If the trust approves our application we should save a considerable amount of money which means there will be a good chance that during our meetings at the Convention another van will be donated by us to another blind center.



And now it has to be approved by the VA.

Intel launched the Intel Reader, a gadget designed to capture and then read electronic text aloud for the user.

Designed for customers with either vision problems or who have problems reading, the Intel Reader is a portable device that will be priced at $1,499 from a network of partners. A Portable Capture Station, essentially a mounting stand for the Reader to facilitate the capture of text, will cost $399.

The Reader was designed for the 55 million or so Americans that are unable or have difficulty reading, whether that be from dyslexia, vision problems, or some other cause.

Intel said that the idea behind the Reader came from Ben Foss, an Intel researcher who was identified in elementary school as someone with dyslexia. Foss himself filed many of the patents that formed the foundation of the Reader, he said. "When I was growing up, my 'reading technology' was my mom and my 'accommodation specialist' was my dad," Foss said in a blog post. "I, like most students, was tested on my ability to learn to read, and I failed miserably.

"It is important to remember that a central experience of a disability, and especially a learning disability, is loneliness. It was a lonely feeling to have to leave class in third grade, and head to a special room to sound out words while the other kids had reading groups," Foss added. "And adults feel lonely as they worry that people might find out they do not have any books at home and that they cannot read the text off a power point slide in a meeting."

The Reader weighs 1.38 pounds, and measures 6.5 inches by 5.35 inches by 1.3 inches. Inside is an Intel Atom microprocessor, a 5-Mpixel camera, and a 4-Gbyte solid-state drive, although only 2-Gbytes is allocated for user data. Although the Reader ships with a 6-cell battery, the included battery can only capture and process 85 pages of text; an AC power adapter is also included.

"The Intel Digital Health Group's expertise is in finding innovative technology solutions to improve quality of life," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Health Group, in a statement. "We are proud to offer the Intel Reader as a tool for people who have trouble reading standard print so they can more easily access the information many of us take for granted every day, such as reading a job offer letter or even the menu at a restaurant."

The Reader is another step for Intel into the digital health space; in 2008, the company launched the Health Guide, a tabletop gadget that Intel marketed to healthcare organizations as a way for patients to take charge of chronic illnesses, and reduce the need for in-person care and appointments.

Intel's partners for the Reader include CTL Corp., Don Johnston, and Howard Technology Solutions.


VA Blue Water Claims Update 09:   

The VA is currently building their list of Blue Water Navy ships (which include Coast Guard vessels) that performed duties on inland waterways. The Washington office at VA Headquarters is spearheading this effort and they have notified all the Regional Offices that whenever they get information regarding Blue Water Navy ships that sailed on inland waters and/or BWN ships that docked in Vietnamese ports or harbors, they are to submit that information to the DC offices for verification. Information from Deck Logs and other sources will be investigated for credibility. In filing a claim based on presumptive exposure to herbicides if your ship was in port or on inland waters, the best thing you can do is present the Regional Office (RO) along with your claim submission certified copies of the information you are using to prove this situation. In many cases, information from a Cruise Book is ideal. Information from your ship's history from Internet sites is also good. Send a copy of that portion of the Cruise book, ship's history and/or photos that show river service or docking, along with a request for the Regional VA Office to obtain the deck logs for that time period to substantiate your claim. Statements attesting to the fact that what you are submitting is true to the best of your knowledge should also be sent. You should have a VSO or the RO itself certify that the copies being submitted are true copies of the original documents which you need to show, but retain in your possession. The ROs will submit the certified copies of this information to the Comp & Pen Division in Washington, and the database of these inland water services will be created after verification of this information. The ultimate goal of this will be a database searchable by the Regional Offices that will validate your claims for presumptive exposure if the ship, for your specified timeframe, is in the database already from someone else's claim. Otherwise, your submission will create the first entry into the database. You will not have to bear the cost of obtaining the Deck Logs under this scenario. That will be the responsibility of the VA. Include a copy of the 19 OCT 09 letter from Secretary Shinseki to Senator Akaka which mentions the development of this searchable database of BWN ships serving in Vietnam. To download a copy of that letter refer to www.bluewaternavy.org/10-19-09-VA-Shinseki-response.pdf .  [Source: www.bluewaternavy.org/newspage2.htm   Dec 09 ++]


VA Outside Medical Claims:    

Occasionally veterans go to or are transported to non-VA civilian health care facilities for "emergent" treatment of their particular medical condition.  To obtain VA payment for this care certain procedures must be followed to file a claim for payment for these services.  Beginning with dates of service on and after 1 MAR 09 you must submit claims for VA payment consideration for emergency care not previously authorized to: Department of Veterans Affairs, Financial Services Center (FSC), Non-VA Emergency Claims, P.O. Box 149364, Austin, TX 78714-9364.  All claims with dates of service before 1 MAR 09 must be mailed to your local VA Medical Center. To expedite claims processing, be sure that each claim is complete and filed within 90 days following the episode of care.  Incomplete claims will be returned. Do not forget to include documentation of any communication with the VA regarding patient treatment or disposition.  A call center at FSC is available to assist you with payment and claims processing inquiries.  You may contact the customer call center at 1(866) 372-1144, M-F 08-1630 (CST) excluding Federal holidays. A claim file is complete if it has the following documentation:

a.  Complete UB-04 or CMS-1500 claim form to include the National Provider Identification (NPI) number

b.  Supporting medical documentation for the following services is needed for claims adjudication:

•             Inpatient: Admission sheet, discharge summary, operation reports, daily progress notes, and doctor orders.

•             Outpatient: Emergency room treatment notes (including chief complaint, and examination/evaluation results), applicable observation notes, any consultation reports, and diagnostic findings.


•             Emergency Transportation:  Transportation notes indicating location the episode of emergency care took place and facility and address the patient was transported to.  The transportation notes should include the chief complaint, examination/evaluation results, applicable observation notes, and any diagnostic findings

[Source: California VFW VSO msg. 18 Dec 09 ++]


Military History Anniversaries:  

•             Jan 01 1945 – WWII: In Operation Bodenplatte, German planes attack American forward air bases in Europe. This is the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.

•             Jan 02 1942 - WWII: In the Philippines, the city of Manila and the U.S. Naval base at Cavite fall to Japanese forces.

•             Jan 02 1966 - American forces move into the Mekong Delta for the first time (Vietnam War)

•             Jan 03 1920 - WWI: The last of the U.S. troops depart France.   

•             Jan 04 1951 - Korea: Chinese communist forces recapture Seoul from United Nations troops

•             Jan 05 1942 - WWII: U.S. and Filipino troops complete their withdrawal to a new defensive line along the base of the Bataan peninsula.

•             Jan 06 1967 - Vietnam: Operation Cedar. Over 16,000 U.S. and 14,000 Vietnamese troops start their biggest attack on the Iron Triangle, northwest of Saigon.

•             Jan 07 1944 - WWII: The U.S. Air Force announces the production of the first jet-fighter, Bell P-59 Airacomet.      

•             Jan 07 1975 - Vietnam: Vietnamese troops take Phuoc Binh in new full-scale offensive.

•             Jan 08 1815 - War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans - A rag-tag army under Andrew Jackson defeats the British on the fields of Chalmette in the Battle of New Orleans.

•             Jan 08 1863 - Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield ends with a Confederate withdrawal.

•             Jan 08 1877 - Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

•             Jan 09 1861 – Civil War: The "Star of the West" incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the War".

•             Jan 09 1945 - WWII: U.S. troops land on Luzon, in the Philippines, 107 miles from Manila.  

•             Jan 10 1847 - Mexican War: General Stephen Kearny and Commodore Robert Stockton retake Los Angeles in the last California battle of the war.

•             Jan 10 1923 - WWI: The United States withdraws its last troops from Germany.

•             Jan 11 1863 - Civil War: The Battle of Fort Hindman Arkansas ends with a Union victory.

•             Jan 11 1940 - Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., becomes the U.S. Army’s first black general, his son would later become a general as well.

•             Jan 11 1967 – Vietnam: Operation Deckhouse Five", a combined USMC and ARVN troop effort in the Mekong River delta ends in failure.

•             Jan 12 1991 - Persian Gulf War: The U.S. Congress gives the green light to military action against Iraq in the Gulf Crisis.

•             Jan 12 1846 - Mexican War: President James Polk dispatches General Zachary Taylor and 4,000 troops to the Texas Border as war with Mexico looms.

•             Jan 13 1968 - Vietnam: U.S. reports shifting most air targets from North Vietnam to Laos.

•             Jan 14 1911 - The USS Arkansas, the largest U.S. battleship, is launched from the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Company.