Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla., and they have three children. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Day 293 - Project Valour IT - Good News Sunday

In anticipation of Veteran’s Day, we join Soldier’s Angels and other milbloggers in friendly competition among service branches to raise money for Project Valour IT. Competition runs through Friday, November 11. (As of this writing, the Navy is still ahead!)

Founded in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, Project Valour IT provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers.

Using voice-controlled software, our wounded heroes are able to operate laptops by speaking into a microphone without having to press a key or move a mouse.

Army CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project, suffered hand wounds while commanding a tank company Iraq. Carren, Chuck’s wife, knows firsthand how voice-controlled software can significantly enhance a wounded servicemember's recovery by giving them a way to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the Internet, and communicate with buddies still in the field.
"Chuck is much happier now that he is able to blog," she says. "Despite the fact the voice recognition thing can be a hassle sometimes, he is very grateful to have it. He loves to see how many people comment when he posts. This blog is really an amazing thing for him and very instrumental for his healing. Alice and I can only do so much..."

Ready to donate? Find the donation box in the sidebar!

Wondering how to fit your gift into year-end philanthropy? Congress has recently passed measures to encourage increased charitable giving in 2005.

The Katrina Emergency Relief Act provides new tax incentives for charitable gifts made from August 28 until the end of the year.

Take note of two specific provisions of the Act:

• Limits on the amounts individuals can deduct for cash contributions to any charitable organization are lifted through December 31, 2005. Current law limits individual deductions to 50% of their adjusted gross income.
• Limits on the amounts corporations can deduct for charitable contributions for Katrina relief are lifted through December 31, 2005. Current law limits corporate deductions to 10% of their taxable income.
Describing the intent of the new incentives, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) said, "My hope in passing this provision is that Americans' generosity for those harmed by Hurricane Katrina won't mean a tradeoff for other important charitable work in this country."

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