- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dear Sgt Shaft:

My name is Carol H. I contacted you some time back seeking assistance in proving my case that my husband, Ralph Huey, actually served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. He died very young from lung cancer.

I just wanted to let you know that on March 30, 2011, I appeared in person in Washington, D.C., to present my case. I just received notification last week that I had won. I am so grateful.

I just wanted to share the good news with you and, especially, want to thank you for your assistance in this matter. It took me three years to bring this to a positive end, but I am certainly glad that I didn’t give up.

Thanks, again.

Dear Carol:

Glad to hear this good news, however, I can only help those who have earned these benefits.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge is looking forward to attending the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF) 26th annual special awards reception at 12:30 PM Today at the Cannon House Office Caucasus Room 345.

At the awards ceremonies, U.S. Representatives Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, and Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican, will receive the Foundation’s George “Buck” Gillispie Award for Meritorious Service. A special recognition award will also be presented to Rep. Bob Filner, California Democrat. The BAVF’s Carlton Sherwood Media Award will be presented to Maria Stainer of the Washington Times and writer David C. Hugel. The George W. Alexander Memorial Volunteer Awards will be presented to Marvin Harris (Military Officers Association) and another veterans’ advocate, Aaron Smith.

The foundation’s Corporate Volunteer Award will go to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Washington, D.C.). The VA medical center played a major role in the development of VA’s innovative electronic system. A demonstration of this computerized system will be on display at the reception.

“We’re honored to recognize Representatives Filner, Miller, and Roe for their steadfast support of veteran’s rights and services,” said BAVF President John Fales. “These national leaders continually stand up for the millions of women and men who have served or are now serving our country, and for their families. The entire veteran’s community joins us in applauding these heroes for their friendship, trust, and constant devotion to veteran’s issues.”

This Annual Congressional Award for Meritorious Service is presented to senators and representatives who, in the opinion of the BAVF, have made significant contributions toward furthering the foundation’s efforts on behalf of sensory disabled American veterans.

It is named in “Buck‘s” honor, in recognition of the more than 40 years of tireless effort he devoted to the sensory disabled.

A pioneer in the field of blind rehabilitation, his accomplishments are too numerous to mention. One indication of the esteem in which he is held among blinded veterans is the bronze plaque at DVA’s Rehabilitation Center in West Haven, CT, where he once served as chief, officially renaming the center in his honor.

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