Update – The Marine Team won the competition this afternoon. Right now we are sitting at $37,199! They are still taking donations though so don’t stop now. It’s a great cause and it’s tax deductible as well.
Original post – It’s that time of year again. From October 26th through November 11th (Veteran’s Day for those that aren’t conscious) Project Valour IT raises money to provide voice-activated laptops and other helpful equipment to severely wounded troops. This has been going on for several years and I haven’t had the chance to (or was just too darned lazy) to get involved but this year I caught it early enough to get in. So what is Valour IT and how did it get started?
Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005.
During his deployment he kept a blog. Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.
As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss’ fellow wounded soldiers and started casting about for a way to get it to them.
A fellow blogger who writes under the pseudonym FbL contacted Captain Ziegenfuss and the two realized they shared a vision of creating libraries of laptops with voice-controlled software that could be brought to the bedsides of wounded soldiers whose injuries prevented them from operating a standard computer. FbL contacted Soldiers’ Angels, who offered to help develop the project, and Project Valour-IT was born.
In sharing their thoughts, CPT Ziegenfuss and FbL found that memories of their respective fathers were a motivating factor in their work with the project. Both continue their association with this project in memory of the great men in their lives whose fine examples taught them lasting lessons of courage and generosity.
Each year the fundraisers are divided into teams, Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force. Being as how my father and my son are/were both grunts it’s pretty obvious which team I would join (sorry Charles!). The Marines of course. Not only the toughest of the crowd but also the best looking.
Anything that you can donate to Project Valour IT will be greatly appreciated by the men and women who serve us with their very lives.
This post will sit on top until November 11th.
For more information on Project Valour IT or to join in and help head on over to Soldier’s Angels.
Updated 10/27/09 – Oh by the way. One thing I didn’t mention before is that Soldier’s Angels is a 501(c) nonprofit which means that your donation is tax deductible and may also be eligible for matching funds from some employers. Ask your employer for more information and check with your tax advisor about tax deductions.