Mark your calendar for business and fun!

Friday-Sunday, 22-24 September: Trap and Pistol Shoot, Clairton Sportsmens Club, 412 Coal Valley Road, Clairton PA 15025.  Shoot trap singles, doubles and handicap, together or separately.  Come down for the pistol shoot on Friday; enjoy a friendly handgun competition with southwest Pa’s “Top Shot,” Augie Malekovich on Saturday.  Costs range from $20 to $165, depending on the event.  Breakfasts and lunches included, not to mention ammo for every event.  Bring your own shotgun, handgun, and safety gear.  If you haven’t been mailed registration and information, call the office, 800-775-9323 or 412-781-2474, or click here: KeystonePVATrapandPistolShootregistrations

You can sponsor this event!  Click here for details: TrapSponsorships2017

Thursday, 05 October: Annual Awards Banquet, Hampton Banquet Hall, 5416 William Flinn Highway (Pa. Route 8), Gibsonia PA 15044, just a half mile north of the Butler Valley interchange of the Pa. Turnpike at mile marker 39.  Awards, entertainment, prizes, and excellent food!  $30 per person; members no charge for you and one guest.  Our event is heavy on fun and light on formality.  Want to register?  Call the office, 800-775-9323 or 412-781-2474.

You can sponsor this event!  Click here for details: BanquetSponsorships2017  We give away door prizes and raffle prizes to our paralyzed veterans and their guests.  If you would like to donate an item, please call our office (numbers above) and ask for Diane.

Plan for 2017’s big events

Annual Awards Banquet, Hampton Banquet Hall, 5416 William Flinn Highway (Pa. Route 8), Gibsonia PA 15044, Thursday, 05 October

Veterans’ Day events on Saturday, 11 November.  There are many events around Pennsylvania that our members participate in, but the chapter has its biggest turnout for the parade in Pittsburgh.

These are the major events; there are also our bi-monthly membership meetings held at two or three locations at once and linked by conference phone.

Most of these activities are in cooperation with other organizations.  The Air Rifle Seminar and Competition involves the host location, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and the National Rifle Association.  The Bass Tournament has the help of the host location and the Greene County BassMasters.  The Trap and Pistol Shoot is one stop of 12 on the national Paralyzed Veterans’ Trap Shoot Circuit, and is held with the generous help of the Clairton Sportsmen’s Club.  The Veterans’ Day Parade in Pittsburgh is organized by the Federation of War Veterans Societies, and we just show up with our members, families and vehicles.  (And we enjoy lunch at the Wyndham Grand Hotel at the end of the parade.)  And our Membership Meetings are hosted in several VA medical centers in Pennsylvania, with the conference phone service provided by the national Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Most of these events are “non-member friendly.”  You don’t always have to be a chapter member to participate in or support them.  Give our office a call, and we can give you more information: 800-775-9323 or 412-781-2474.

 

Keystone PVA wheelchair athletes earn 56 medals at annual Games

Keystone PVA’s 13 wheelchair athletes brought back a total of 56 medals from the 37th annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Cincinnati, Ohio from 17 through 22 July.  Of the total, 35 medals were gold.  Above: Our guys and gals pose right before the opening ceremonies at the Cincinnati Convention Center; photo by Agnes Strang.  Last year at the Games in Salt Lake City, our 14 participating athletes earned 55 medals.

How to Support PARALYZED VETS

A major thank-you to CARS FOR VETERANS for a major donation supporting our programs for paralyzed veterans for the second year

We have a new, easy way to donate on-line:

JustGive.org can accept your donation for Keystone Paralyzed Veterans on-line with minimum fuss, plus an option to stay anonymous or to include your contact information so we can personally thank you and show you how your support is working for paralyzed veterans today.

HOW TO SUPPORT PARALYZED VETS

(Scroll down to find out why we don’t accept wheelchairs and other equipment)

Benjamin M. Williams

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Benjamin M. Williams

Member, Board of Directors; Chairman, Building Committee

I was inducted into the Army in 1953 and served in the Korean War. I served as a tank commander and was released from active service in 1955. Under the universal military training act I was in the Army Reserve for another eight years and was honorably discharged in 1963.

During my time in the service I accidentally fell, broke my leg and injured my back. After I was discharged I continued to have back and leg problems. Over the years, I broke my leg three more times. With no warning, I would lose all feeling in my legs and fall. I was finally diagnosed with spinal stenosis paraplegia.

I joined the Keystone Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America so I would be able to associate with and help my peers. The chapter provides many opportunities, not just sports and recreation, that we might not otherwise be able to enjoy.

Besides serving on the chapter’s Board of Directors, I am the chairman of the Building Committee. I serve as the chapter’s deputy VA Voluntary Services representative for the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, both the Oakland and Heinz campuses, and spend about 300 or more hours on that task. I hear and monitor problems that our members might have and I pass along canteen coupon books purchased by the chapter to help them buy items they need from the commissary. I urge everyone to visit a veterans’ medical center and talk to some of the disabled veterans there.

I help promote PVA and the Keystone Chapter by staffing the chapter’s exhibit booth at the annual Washington County (Pa.) Sports Show.

I feel strongly about my fellow vets; I keep in touch with many. I especially commend our more active wheelchair athletes and how hard they work to earn those gold medals in competition.

As a veteran of the Korean War, It is important to me to remind people that there remain over 7,000 MIAs from that conflict.

For veterans in the Pittsburgh region:

VAPHS Town Hall for all concerned veterans:

Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 1 p.m.

The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System will hold its next Town Hall for veterans as shown above.  We will provide the campus and the room in which it will be held here, but if you are a vet who gets care from the VAPHS, you should receive a notice with details from the VA.

The format is usually a couple of brief presentations on concerns of general interest, then a question-and-answer session.  The VA usually has health care AND benefits specialists on hand if your situation is particularly acute.

 

 

Keystone PVA office: 412-781-2474, 800-775-9323, or e-mail us!

Tom Strang

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Tom Strang

Member, Board of Directors
Site Leader: Hospital Liaison, and VAVS Representative (VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System)

I am 71 years old and married to Agnes Strang, the Volunteer Coordinator of Keystone PVA. We have two children, Loren and Tom; both married. They have blessed us with seven beautiful grandchildren – one boy and six girls.

In the early 1960s, I served on the submarine USS Carp (SS-338). My rank was Torpedoman Second Class SS and I was in charge of the aft torpedo room.

My spinal cord injury level is complete and my level of function is paraplegia.

In the past 16 years I have served at times as your Treasurer, Secretary, member of the Board of Directors and Sports Director, and Hospital Liaison Officer.

At present I am your Membership Officer, Associate Sports Director, member of the Board of Directors and Hospital Liaison Officer in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). I am the Keystone Chapter’s VA Voluntary Service Representative at the H. John Heinz III Progressive Care Center and the University Drive hospital of the VAPHS. I monitor the SCI clinic and the wheelchair seating clinic at the Heinz PCC.

My goals and those of the Chapter are to uphold the commitment to improving the quality of life and protecting the rights of spinal-cord injured and neurologically impaired patients. The major areas of effort lie with providing health care benefits, service rights, SCI research, recreation, sports activities and working to create legislation to ensure employment opportunities and civil rights and to become leaders in the fight against barriers in the everyday world. Our goals are: Consistency, Determination and You – our members.

James E. Riemer

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James E. Riemer

President; National Director; Site Leader, Hospital Liaison, and VAVS
Representative (Butler VA Medical Center)
Residence: Jefferson Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

I was in the final draft in 1972 so I decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy Reserves. I attended Storekeeper “A” School in San Diego, California then reported for active duty in June 1973 serving in the supply department issuing supplies, ultimately serving as the Financial Manager of the Supply Department on the USS Dale (DLG-19). I was discharged from active duty to my U.S. Navy Reserve Center in Pittsburgh in June 1975. Upon discharge from active I had advanced to the rank of Storekeeper 2nd Class and remained in the reserves for two more years.

On April 1, 1985 I fell from a roof and sustained a C-4, C-5 incomplete injury which left me a quadriplegic. In February 1989 after a long rehabilitation, I decided to get a baclofen pump to control my spasms. Since I received the pump, I have been able to drive an equipped van.

I graduated from the Butler Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting in 1990. While attending College I volunteered in the Fiscal Department at the Butler VA Medical Center. In the late 1990’s I joined PVA and elected to participate in their recreation program.

While serving as a member of Keystone PVA I have held many positions. They include Board member, Sports Director and Treasurer from 2000 thru 2005 and Vice President from 2005 until the present.

I have also served as Keystone PVA’s National Director from 2001 thru 2007 and 2010 thru the present. I also served on PVA’s Finance Committee from 2005 thru 2008.

I volunteer over 1,000 hours annually at the Butler VA and Keystone PVA.

Projects That Need Your Support

Keystone PVA performs services and conducts events for its members and other veterans. While we make the most of every dollar we receive, we still need some dollars to serve these vets.
We’ve prepared a list of some of our projects and a synopsis of each, plus an estimate of the costs. It would be our privilege to discuss support with you. Please take a look at our Projects and Programs pages and tell contact our executive director, Joe Dornbrock, 412-781-2474 or 800-775-9323.