Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1

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

September/October 2015 Newsletter

Editor: Dennis O’Connell

Email address: bvnc1@optonline.net







Commander James Hogan (CA)

Phone 661 251 7870 email: ja2paroses@aol.com

Senior vice commander: Ron Lester (AZ)

1st Junior vice Commander David May (OH)

 2nd Junior vice Commander Leonard Pope (NJ)

3rd Vice Commander Dennis O’Connell (NY)

4th Junior vice Commander Robert Abshire (CO)

Judge Advocate Richard Bugbee (AZ)

Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino (IL),

Phone 847 736 2111, email: deaconmartino@gmail.com

(filling in for Tony to send cards, Dave May, cell: (330) 806-9910  

Email: dtm50@neo.rr.com

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

Phone 904 291-0576, email: pkjax@kaminsky.com

Judge Advocate

Richard Bugbee (AZ)

Immediate Past Commander Carroll Prosser (SC)


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


Please keep Carroll Prosser, Tony Martino  and Paul Kaminsky in your prayers!





It is indeed an honor and a privilege to have been elected as your Commander for the Blinded Veterans National Chapter #1 of the Disabled American Veterans at the 2015 National Convention in Denver, CO.

I am looking forward to working in outreach to all of our DAV States, Districts and Chapters to help us support our blind veterans. So often these are the men and women who truly do need a little extra from our organization. 

Currently there are 13 VA Blind Rehabilitation Centers throughout the country serving not only our senior veterans but our youngest as well who have suffered vision loss as the results of TBI and other war related eye injuries. These centers provide training in every aspect of independent living and are an incredible resource. Unfortunately they are not being utilized to their maximum due to staffing shortages. 

The National Blind Chapter does their best to provide some funding to help these veterans receiving inpatient blind rehab services with some recreational relief but our funds are limited.  

As the Blind Chapter does not participate in the Forget me Not campaign or any other fundraisers with the exception of gathering donations at the annual breakfast at DAV National conventions, we are asking for the help and support of your States, Districts and Chapters to further our cause. Let's work together and help support our blind veterans. Every little bit helps!





I am pleased to announce that the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) will be joining forces with the Foundation for Retinal Research (FRR) to enhance our research efforts to find treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. The merging of FRR into FFB will officially take effect on January 1, 2016.

For the past 17 years, FFB Board member and Officer, David Brint, his wife Betsy, and other family members have dedicated themselves to organizing, informing, and supporting individuals and families across the country affected by retinal disease. FRR has played a vital role in advancing the field of research in congenital blinding disorders, as has FFB, through large investments in this area of research over the past two decades.

As scientific progress in our field continues to accelerate – there are now roughly 20 clinical trials focused on retinal disease treatments – it is increasingly clear that greater collaboration is, and will be, needed in order to fund later stage projects and de-risk them sufficiently to draw commercial partners from the pharmaceutical, biotech and investments sectors. We have taken the initial steps, but there is still a great deal more work to be done. We believe that the joining together of FFB and FRR will increase our capacity to attract commercial investment.

We welcome the FRR families to the FFB and look forward to the amazing dedication and passion that has been such a defining characteristic of FRR. FFB, in turn, is committed to providing information and support at the same high standard that has been set by FRR. Most importantly, we share a laser-like focus on finding treatments and cures for retinal diseases.


William T. Schmidt, CEO, Foundation Fighting Blindness




PART 1: This pamphlet has been produced by the Consumer Advocate, U.S. Postal Service. It is designed to answer the most often asked questions

about free matter for the blind and other visually handicapped persons. The information contained in this publication is based on E040 of the

Domestic Mail Manual and United States Code, title 39, sections 3403–3405.


Q: Who may qualify to mail items free of postage?

A: Persons who are blind or who cannot use or read conventionally printed material due to a physical handicap.

Other handicaps that can prevent normal reading include disabling paralysis, muscle or nerve deterioration affecting coordination and

control, and confinement in iron lungs or other mechanical devices. Among the causes of such conditions are cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis,

muscular dystrophy, arthritis, infantile paralysis, myasthenia gravis, and diplegia.

Q: What must a person do to be eligible to mail

items free of postage?

A: The person must have a competent authority certify in writing that he or she is unable to read conventional reading material. A competent

authority includes a licensed medical doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, registered nurse, or professional staff member of a hospital or

other institution or agency. The statement is to be submitted to the post office where postagefree mailings will be made or received by the

blind or visually handicapped person. The person is then considered eligible to use the free mailing privilege.

Q: Which material may be mailed free of postage?

A: Under the conditions specified below, the following material is eligible:

1. Books, magazines, musical scores, and other reading matter, or pages or parts thereof, in raised characters (Braille), large print, or

recorded form.

2. Paper, records, tapes, and other matter for the production of reading matter, musical scores, or sound reproductions for eligible persons.

3. Equipment and parts for equipment used for writing by eligible persons or for educational purposes.

4. Sound playback equipment specially designed or adapted for the use of visually

handicapped persons.

5. Equipment or parts for equipment specifically designed or adapted for use by visually handicapped persons, such as Braille watches, white canes, and similar equipment.

Q: Are there restrictions on this material?

A: The material may not contain any advertising.

Musical or other sound recordings not specifically designed for use by visually

handicapped persons are not eligible for free mailing.

The mail is subject to inspection by the Postal Service.

Q: Can letters be mailed free of postage?

A: Letters in raised characters (Braille), in 14-point or larger sight saving type, or in the form of sound recordings may be mailed free of postage

from an eligible person. Handwritten or typewritten letters, however, are subject to the applicable rate of postage when mailed to or from an eligible person. Also subject to applicable postage are bills paid by mail by

eligible persons and letters in any form when mailed to eligible persons from ineligible persons.

Q: Who can mail eligible material postage-free and to whom can it be mailed?

A: Individuals, libraries, and other noncommercial organizations serving eligible persons may mail the above material free of postage to eligible

persons and to organizations serving eligible persons. Eligible persons may return materials to the lenders free of postage. Eligible persons

may exchange the above material among themselves free of postage. Libraries and other noncommercial organizations may exchange such material among themselves free of postage.

Commercial producers of the above material may mail such material free of postage to an eligible person on the additional condition that

whatever charge, fee, or rental required does not exceed the cost of the material.