American Forces Press Service
Sept. 14, 2007 - Paralyzed Veterans of America held its annual Americana Gala at the National Building Museum here last night. In keeping with the evening's theme of "Building a Better Tomorrow," the event paid tribute to visionary individuals and corporate leaders who have championed improved quality of life for veterans and people with disabilities. These improvements include working toward an accessible, barrier-free America and ensuring better access to job-seeking tools and employment opportunities.
"Imagine an America where veterans with disabilities and their families have everything they need to thrive," said Homer S. Townsend Jr., the organization's acting executive director. "Through their leadership, the people and businesses we honor tonight are helping paralyzed veterans make this vision a reality."
Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao received the 2007 Honor for Public Service Award for her enduring service and her advocacy for the veteran community. U.S. Rep. James Langevin of Rhode Island received the 2007 Congressional Award for his long-time support of both the Paralyzed Veterans of America and veterans. Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia received the 2007 Patriotic Award for his longtime advocacy for veterans with disabilities.
Additionally, the group presented Michael Graves of the Michael Graves and Associates architectural firm with the 2007 Health and Design Award for his efforts to maximize the independence of people with disabilities and his leadership and innovation in the creation of quality medical devices. United Parcel Service received the 2007 Award for Corporate Leadership for its enduring advocacy for people and veterans with disabilities.
Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease. The organization has more than 19,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
(From a Paralyzed Veterans of America news release.)
Editor's Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil. America Supports You directly connects military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the military community.