Member Spotlight: Keystone Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America

Unifying the voice of nonprofits to leverage their power

Keystone Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America

Paralyzed Veterans stay moving to keep improving

Paralyzed Veterans stay on the move.

That may sound contradictory, but it’s the only way the military veterans who lead the Keystone Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America know how to live.

Every summer—this year in Dallas, Texas, from 21 to 26 June—15 to 18 members of the Keystone PVA attend the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, competing with and against 600 other veterans from around the U.S., and another dozen military vets from the United Kingdom.  The competition is just the culmination of a year-round health and fitness program that makes it possible for paralyzed vets to have nearly the same life expectancy as anyone else.

Every March, paralyzed veterans go to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress to emphasize the reasons that the Veterans Health Administration, which provides health care for millions of military veterans, is a vital, specialty health care system that does not exist in the civilian system.  Keystone PVA members visit with each member of Congress from Pennsylvania or their staff veterans affairs specialists.  Paralyzed veterans themselves make the case for fulfilling the nation’s promise to them after they have served.

Every week, often more than once, Keystone PVA members roll into their local VA medical centers to visit with their fellow vets to be sure they are getting the care they were promised.  They review the care, the facilities, the staffing, the access and more.  In conjunction with a PVA professional national service officer, they work to improve the care and assure their fellow veterans that they have their backs.

There is no tax money, no social program, and no excuses.  There is just the constant commitment to make veterans’ lives better.  Paralyzed Veterans stay moving to keep improving.