Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1

WEB SITE: http://www.davbvnc1.com/contents.htm

January/February 2014 Newsletter

Editor: Dennis O’Connell







Commander Carroll Prosser (SC)

Phone (843) 997-1981

Email: heypops43@gmail.com

Senior Vice Commander James Hogan (CA)

1st Junior Vice Commander (deceased 12/09/13) Stephen Moffitt (RI)

 2nd Junior Vice Commander William Burgess (FL)

3rd Vice Commander Rick Calissi (FL)

4th Junior Vice Commander Charles Brooks (FL)

Judge Advocate Dennis O’Connell (NY)
Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino (IL)
Phone 847 736 2111

 Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky (FL) (also webmaster)

Phone 904 291-0576

Immediate Past Commander Richard Bugbee (AZ)


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



Buddy Spivey, Little Rock AR

Clarence Blankenship, War WV



My fellow chapter members, Hopefully each of you has survived this horrendous winter. Paul Kaminsky and I will be attending the mid-winter conference in Washington the latter part of this month. We will be lobbying for programs that will benefit veterans and their families. I ask all of you to stay in touch with your state legislators and I encourage each of you to ask for support of any and all bills that will aid veterans and their families. there will be several new bills presented this year that will impact each of us and our families. Hopefully they will be for the benefit of veterans

   I encourage each of you to take advantage of the VIST and BROS programs along with the blind rehab services offered at our 13 blind rehab centers across the country. If I can assist any of you in any way please feel free to contact me.

I thank each of you for your service to this country and your support of the National Blind Chapter.



Below is a link to the IRS page regarding the fact that VA benefits do not have to be claimed for taxes. 



21st ANNUAL TEE Tournament

Planning to be held on September 8-11th! Don’t forget to ask either your VIST coordinator or Recreational Therapy Department for an application, which should come out in April.



During this month, we must pause to reflect on one of the most critical crises facing our nation's veterans and service members. We lose 22 veterans each day to suicide, and active duty suicides hit an all time high in 2012 as 349 men and women took their own lives.

It is always a shock to hear these statistics. It is estimated a veteran takes his or her life every 80 seconds, and roughly 31 percent of those individuals are under the age of 49.

The VA's crisis hotline reports having saved 28,000 veterans from taking their own lives since its launch in 2007. While this service is clearly a vital lifeline for many veterans, we cannot ignore the fact that 28,000 of those who served our country were at some point in such dire need of help.

Many of these men and women are struggling with life-altering injuries and illness, the loss of relationships and a fear that they have all but been abandoned. As an organization of veterans helping veterans, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to engage and support each other.

Be part of the solution by knowing what resources are available and by being ready to provide them when needed:

• The Veterans Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255, with responders standing by 24/7

• Private online chat sessions available at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat

• Veterans can send a text message to 838255 to connect to a VA responder

• Self-check quizzes available at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/ quiz

• Active Duty, Reserve, or Guard can visit http://www.militarycrisislin/  e.net



Buddy Brown Spivey, was born December 31, 1941 in Washington D.C. and died on January 9, 2014 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was a true American hero. When asked how he was doing, Buddy always responded with an emphatic "OUT-STANDING!"

Buddy and his story were remarkable. He was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps. On December 7, 1967, he was severely injured by an explosion in Vietnam. Most of his unit believed he died that day. He spent 18 months in the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. He was totally blind, lost his right leg and suffered brain damage. But he never lost his spirit. Buddy earned two Purple Hearts and retired from the Marines at the rank of Captain. Despite the odds, Buddy picked himself up and lived a full and fun-filled life after his injury.

After years of physical and blind rehabilitation, Buddy returned to his beloved Alma Mater, the University of Arkansas, where he earned a Master's Degree in Counseling (1971) and an Education Specialist Degree (1972). Buddy worked a full career until he retired in 2007. He served as a Field Representative for the Blinded Veterans Association for ten years. He traveled alone over 14 states counseling and helping other blinded veterans. He later worked as a counseling psychologist and social worker at the VA Hospital in Little Rock. He rarely missed a day of work. He was an active member of the Disabled American Veterans Association.

Buddy was the DAV "Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year" in 1975. The award was presented to him by President Ford in the Oval Office and at the DAV National Convention in Hawaii. He received the DAV Department of Arkansas Achievement Award the same year. In 1976, he received the Tau Kappa Epsilon National Achievement Award. He received the "No Greater Love Award" for Vietnam Veterans presented by Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt in 1977. He was an Outstanding Young Men of America honoree in 1981. In 1989, he received the "Major General Melvin J. Mass Achievement Award" from the Blinded Veterans Association. He also served as a board member for the State of Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind from 1975 to 2006.

Buddy was a gifted artist and musician. He was one of the all-time great Razorback fans. He loved telling people that he played in two Cotton Bowls and two Sugar Bowls during his time at the University of Arkansas. Most times (but not always) he would later admit that he actually played as a member of the Razorback Marching Band, which he affectionately referred to as, the "Stumbling 100." He was a talented saxophone player.

Buddy loved being a part of something bigger than himself, whether it was the marching band, the Marine Corps, the Disabled American Veterans Association, the Blinded Veterans Association or even the Edsel Owner's Club. Buddy, himself, was truly larger than life. He was the biggest personality in the room, regardless of his company. People were drawn to him. Not only because of his personal story, but because of the way he told stories, and because of the way he loved and listened to others. He always wanted to know about other people and to hear their stories. He remembered every detail from them.

He knew "everything (pronounced EV-ry-thing) about tomato pie!!" from his days in Philadelphia, where his father, Joseph Spivey, worked as an FBI agent. Buddy danced on American Bandstand as a teenager. He loved cars and knew all about them. He collected hundreds of model cars. Buddy lived in big cities like Washington D.C., Cleveland and Philadelphia growing up, but he spent a lot of his time in Arkansas, where his grandparents lived.

Buddy attended the University of Arkansas and earned a BA Degree in Commercial Art. His talents were broad. He painted remarkable portraits, landscapes, and abstracts. He also excelled at technical and commercial drawings. He loved designing cars. After graduation, instead of designing cars, he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps. As much as anything else, Buddy was a Marine.

Buddy was an immaculate dresser. He wore his suit and tie to work long after the rest of the world had moved to business casual. He was at times a flashy dresser. He loved bright colors with lots of flare. He enjoyed standing out from the crowd as if he needed any help doing so.

He was a Methodist and devout Christian. He prayed for others all day, every day. He always told his friends and family how much he loved them and how proud he was of them. Buddy had unlimited compassion for others, but he never felt sorry for himself. Semper Fi!

He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

I first met Floyd when I was Adjutant-Treasurer of the Blind Chapter. Floyd was a quiet man who always came up with the big bucks at the DAV National Conventions. Monetary gifts from the Department of Kansas, and its subordinate chapters, were attributable to Floyd's hard work in fundraising. Back then the Chapter was living on the edge financially. Donations that had Floyd's fingerprints on them carried us over for another year. His family should know that his advocacy touched many, many lives. May he rest in peace! Neil Appleby