ARM Industry Helps Vet Hear Again
May 16, 2012: Vietnam Veteran Kenon Jenkins served in the U.S. Navy in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He saw action aboard the USS Douglas H. Fox destroyer and received a National Defense Service Medal and a Vietnam Service Medal with a Bronze Star. Both during his naval service and for years thereafter as an employee of the U.S. Post Office, Kenon worked in close proximity to machinery that, over time, led to significant loss of hearing.
Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had been involvedin Mr. Jenkins’s case, it was ultimately determined that the particulars of his financial situation plus various guidelines would not enable the VA to pay for the type of hearing aid that he and Mrs. Jenkins knew would give him back most of his hearing. Like many other military families, the Jenkins’ were also constrained by their living expenses and ongoing debt management issues. After resigning himself to never again being able to hear normal, everyday sounds, he found the ARMing Heroes (www.armingheroes.org) website.
When he contacted ARMing Heroes, the organization had recently started its Second Annual Veterans Day Charity Fundraising Drive (“the Drive”). As a result of the drive, the credit and collection industry raised more than $27,000 in only a ten-week period starting on September 11th and concluding on Veterans Day, November 11th. Donations from the drive more than doubled the previous year’s total, thanks to these donors.
The single largest donor in 2011 by far was Southwest Credit (www.swcredit.com), which instituted an Employee Contribution Program (ECP). The Southwest Credit ECP empowers workers to have the company make donations, through payroll deductions, to ARMing Heroes to help America’s veterans. Employees can choose to do this either on a one-time basis or over the course of an entire year. ARMing Heroes estimates that, if only half of its other corporate donors would implement an ECP, the organization could easily raise $400,000 or more this year.
The ARMing Heroes Board of Trustees voted in December to award a grant to Mr. Jenkins to help pay for the hearing aid. After many years of waiting, Kenon Jenkins got his hearing aid just last month. Mrs. Jenkins recently wrote ARMing Heroes to say thanks.
“This morning my husband … received his hearing aid. We were on our way home from the doctor’s office and we got to a light and had to turn right. My husband heard a noise. He said, ‘What is that? I think something is wrong with the car.’ It was the turn signal. He had forgotten the sound of a turn signal. That is when I realized how much he has been missing all of these years. Thank you so much for helping my husband hear again.”
Please take this opportunity to help spread the word to colleagues or veterans in need. Follow us on Twitter, join our group on LinkedIn, and like our Facebook page. The more awareness we create, the more donations we receive, the more veterans we can help!