Saturday, November 04, 2006

Project Valour-IT

I learned about Project Valour-IT over at Blackfive, who is hosting the Army Team. Here is the history:

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 (an online personal diary, opinion forum, or news analysis site-called a milblog or military weblog when written by a servicemember or about military subjects). 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 cast about for a way to get it to them.

A fellow blogger (blog author) 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.

Personally I can only imagine what it would be like to have lost my hands or arms and be unable to use a computer to keep up with email, the web, blogging, etc... Our soldiers deserve our support to give them the tools to stay connected.

There is a friendly competition among the branches of the military, and I've chosen to help with the Army, as that is where my own family members have served. Please consider donating to help our wounded soldiers - every little bit helps! Our goal is $45,000.00 and the amount we've garnered so far is updated on the upper left sidebar on this page. You can click on the "Make a Donation" button to contribute.

Go Army!