- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dear Sgt Shaft:

I’m interested in purchasing a copy of George Skypeck’s “Assured Victory” painting. Are there any prints still left, and how much do they cost?

Please let me know the details for ordering.

Thanks so much,
Kevin S.
Via the Internet

Dear Kevin:

George Skypeck generously donated hundreds of his “Assured Victory” prints to the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF). A copy can be obtained for a $100 tax-deductible contribution to BAVF. These donations will go to helping the wounded and their families at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Contact me for additional information.

The original painting is on public display loan to Arlington National Cemetery’s Visitor Center. It depicts the September 11 terrorist attacks and the heroism and gallantry of the police, firefighters and Pentagon employees on that day — and of the American military forces fighting the war on terrorism worldwide.

The main centerpieces are the famous Statue of Liberty in New York City’s harbor and the Armed Freedom statue, which rests atop the U.S. Capitol dome and overlooks the Pentagon. The symbols define the American sense of spirit, duty and compassion and represent the Twin Sisters of Victory. Below them is a purple and black mourning ribbon that becomes the purple and white ribbon of the Purple Heart Medal, with other medals being represented.

A special thanks to the Pitney Bowes Corp. for agreeing to mail the prints to the generous donors.

Shaft notes

• The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is increasing its support to caregivers with a new, toll-free telephone line for the caregivers of veterans of all eras.

“The families and loved ones who care for severely injured veterans deserve the highest level of support,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “At VA, we consider them important partners in our efforts to care for and rehabilitate our nation’s heroes.”

The National Caregiver Support Line — 855/260-3274 — will serve as the primary resource and referral center to assist caregivers, veterans and others seeking caregiver information.

The line unofficially started Feb. 1, and in its first week logged nearly 600 calls, including 134 referrals to local VA caregiver support coordinators and 233 calls from caregivers themselves.

“VA has been providing support for the caregivers of veterans for more than seven decades,” Shinseki added. “We already have more than two dozen successful programs, policies and services that support the caregivers of veterans of all ages.”

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