Paralyzed Veterans of America’s newly elected national president
By Charles Brown
I’m Charles Brown, a United States Marine medically retired from duty after I sustained a spinal-cord injury.
I wish to thank the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Board of Directors for their confidence in electing me as PVA’s next national president during May’s 75th annual convention in Las Vegas.
I’m honored to serve and promise you, the members of PVA and the board of directors, that I’ll give everything I have to ensure that no veteran who has sustained a spinal-cord injury or disease goes untreated outside of a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. You have earned the care that’s promised to you and deserve the best.
I would like to thank PVA Immediate Past President David Zurfluh for his leadership and also Ken Ness for his dedicated service as national vice president. Under the staff leadership of PVA Executive Director Carl Blake and Deputy Executive Director Shaun Castle, our professional staff team has been working diligently to build up our organization so we can serve more veterans.
The communications department has set PVA on a clear path to achieve more awareness. Our development staff has been building a broader reach to help bring in the money to move our programs forward. The PVA Veterans Benefits Department is fighting hard for each of us to secure the benefits we have rightfully earned.
I want to rightfully thank our administrative staff for the constant work they have put forward, for without their professionalism and diligence, none of our successes would be possible.
My biggest heartfelt thank-you goes out to the chapters and volunteers. You’re the boots on the ground, the rubber on the road, the ones who almost always meet the new veteran first and who continue the community contact and build this family of veterans.
Let us all remember that July is the birth month of our nation. As each of you go out to celebrate Independence Day, remember the tremendous sacrifices made to ensure your freedoms and take a short moment to give thanks to those who have given their all.
I’d like to share a quote from Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States:
“We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something — for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.”
Thank you for everything you do, and I’m looking forward to serving you, the members of PVA. When all is done, I’m simply one of you, a member of PVA who has a strong desire to fight for you.