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Project Valour-IT

In memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss


It was the first time I felt whole since I’d woken up wounded in Landstuhl.
–Major Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, on using a voice-controlled laptop




Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005.

During his deployment he kept a blog (an online personal diary, opinion forum, or news analysis site-called a milblog or military weblog when written by a servicemember or about military subjects). Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.

As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss' fellow wounded soldiers and started cast about for a way to get it to them.

A fellow blogger (blog author) who writes under the pseudonym FbL contacted Captain Ziegenfuss and the two realized they shared a vision of providing laptops with voice-controlled software to wounded soldiers whose injuries prevented them from operating a standard computer. FbL contacted Soldiers Angels, who offered to help develop the project, and Project Valour-IT was born.

In sharing their thoughts, CPT Ziegenfuss (now a Major) and FbL found that memories of their fathers were a motivating factor in their work with the project. Both continue their association with this project in memory of the great men in their lives whose fine examples taught them lasting lessons of courage and generosity.

In the years since its founding in 2005, the project has acted to meet emerging needs and its mission of supporting the the severely wounded has expanded.  In addition to voice-controlled laptops, Valour-IT now helps provide active and whole-body video games such as Wii Sports, which is used to great effect in physical therapy,  and personal GPS systems that help compensate for short-term memory loss and organizational/spacial challenges common in those with brain injuries.

 

To Whom It May Concern,

Hello, my name is LCpl. Andrew. I am a Marine that was wounded in Iraq and got medevaced to Brooke Army Medical Center in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. I recently received a laptop. I was informed that it was you, the Soldier's Angels that donated it. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have support from organizations such as yourself. It really lets me know that there are people out there that still care about the troops and what they are sacrificing for this country. I appreciate what you have done for me and having this laptop is actually good therapy for my hand. Once again thank you and I am proud to serve this country knowing there are people like you that I am protecting.

Sincerely,

Andrew