21 June 2006

Soldiers’ Angels’ Project Valour IT Donates Laptop Computer to 500th Wounded Soldier


Soldiers' Angels
Contact: James Riley
Director Wounded Operations
1792 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91104
Tel. (615)676-0239
Email: donations@soldiersangels.org


Soldiers’ Angels’ Project Valour IT donates laptop
computer to 500th wounded soldier

Pasadena, California -- June 21, 2006 - During every war in which the United States has been involved, civilian groups have come into existence which were composed of individuals dedicated to providing for the human needs of American soldiers and their families. Programs such as the Overseas YMCA Workers Program played a pivotal role in helping American soldiers while they were deployed and when they returned from the battlefield during World War I.

Today, during the War on Terror, many similar charitable organizations have emerged to provide for the needs of the American soldiers and their families. The memberships of such organizations are diverse and include among their ranks veterans, milbloggers, family members of soldiers and civilians. Some of the organizations exist to provide a specific need to soldiers while others exist to provide a wide array of help and comfort to those in the armed forces. A common theme among the groups is the desire to provide aid and comfort to the men and women who wear the military uniforms of the United States of America.

Soldiers’ Angels is such an organization. In the summer of 2003 Patti Patton-Bader was inspired to found Soldiers’ Angels when her son wrote home from Iraq expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home. Within a few short months Soldiers' Angels had grown from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet Community with tens of thousands of angels worldwide.

One of the many projects established by Soldiers’ Angels was Project Valour IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops). The project was established in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, a Vietnam era veteran. SFC Ziegenfuss’s son, CPT Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss, was wounded in Iraq. While convalescing from hand injuries he discovered the therapeutic benefits of being able to stay connected to the world through the use of voice-controlled software and a laptop computer. He was one of many soldiers who were able to blog from their hospital beds. Out of his struggle and in coordination with Soldiers’ Angels, Project Valor IT was born.

The purpose of the project is to provide voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, wounded soldiers are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field, all without having to press a key or move a mouse.

During its initial phase, Valour-IT created "libraries" of laptops equipped with voice-controlled software for the severely wounded staying at major military medical centers. In many cases laptops are provided to a wounded hero for permanent use. Valour-IT has continued to accept donations of any amount to supply the “libraries” of laptops at major military medical centers and gifts to individuals, but has also added the option of an individual or organization directly sponsoring a wounded soldier by completely funding the cost of a laptop and continuing to provide him or her with personal support and encouragement throughout recovery.

Through donations from milblogger challenges, churches, groups of coworkers or friends, and members of community organizations, Project Valour IT has recently donated its 500th laptop computer to a wounded soldier. This project helps keep wounded soldiers from falling into depression by providing them with task-oriented activity; giving them access to entertainment and news; allowing them to sustain positive self value; and allowing them to maintain and enjoy rewarding personal contact through instant messages, email and even voice chat.

In essence, the voice activated laptops provided by Project Valour IT become instant lifelines for the severely wounded soldier. The project directly and positively helps those soldiers who have given up so much of themselves to protect their fellow countrymen and gives them the ability to experience some of the small enjoyments found in daily life.

Continuing the time honored tradition of civilian support of American soldiers, Soldiers’ Angels sponsors programs which provide support to American soldiers and their families. Soldiers’ Angels’ programs include first responder packs, support, and laptop computers to wounded soldiers who are receiving treatment at American military hospitals; care packages, letters, and support to deployed soldiers; armored blankets to military ambulances; items shipped for deployed soldiers to give children in the war zone; and memorial trees for the families of soldiers who have died in the service of their country.

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If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Patti Patton-Bader, please call James Riley at (615)676-0239 or email Don: donations@soldiersangels.org.

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