Each year the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) presents its annual Gen. Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award to a veteran with a service-connected blindness who has proven him or herself to be outstanding in his or her field of employment, and in adjusting to daily living. The association is reaching out to other service organization groups for recomendations for this year's award.
The Award was initiated by the late Baynard H. Kendrick, a mystery writer and author of "Lights Out," the story of a WWII blinded veteran. The award is named in honor of Marine Corps Gen. Maas who was an early president of BVA and was chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped at the time of his passing.
A spokesman for the BVA said that from the beginning, presentation of the award has contributed to the enhancement of a positive image of blind individuals and to the elimination of the concept of helplessness. Anyone who wishes to nominate someone can contact the BVA by writing to Dr. Norman Jones Jr., National President and Chairman of the Board, requesting a copy of the consideration requirements.
Ther BVA also will award six scholarships under its Kathleen F. Gruber Scholarship Program. Each of the six $2,000.00 scholarships will be awarded to dependent children and spouses of blinded veterans of the U. S. Armed Forces. The veteran must be legally blind and can be service-connected or not,and need not be a member of the BVA. There are also other requirements. Applications can be obtained by writing to the VBA at 477 H Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001-2694.
THe BVA is seeking nominees for its David L. Schnair Award, honoring contributions of BVA Volunteers; and is seeking nominees for the Wilburn H. Long Award recognizing efforts and commitment of employers, personnel agencies or government agencies who employee blinded veterans. For details and applications, call (202)371-8880.