SALEM, Oregon - The mission of Oral Hull Foundation is to provide educational, social and recreational programming to those with blindness and low vision and to ensure vision loss does not mean dependency and isolation. Our adult guests are people who come from all over the United States, all walks of life, and all economic levels but with one commonality. They are all legally blind.
Just recently, we had three low vision and blind men come to Oral Hull for a summer week-long retreat to defy boundaries despite their sight loss via our High Adventure Retreat. They had all served in the military and had no idea that they could and should receive services from the Veterans Administration.
As "Blinded Veterans," we were able to lead them to the connections that would essentially and dramatically provide them with much needed medical care, assistive devices, and emotional support.
How many more of our honored veterans with significant sight loss are isolating at home unaware of the many veteran benefits and resources that are available with the intent of improving the living conditions of our disabled veterans?
Our Foundation can only guess as we have no means of communication to find these disabled veterans other than word of mouth. A feature story from any of our news agencies would and could certainly change the life of one or many veterans if this and other resources were made public. Ask about "Riley's" story. It is a good example with a great beginning to finding his journey from being isolated and fearful due to his sight loss to independence, self-confidence and living life to the fullest despite his challenges.
In a recent communication from Riley he stated "I was not aware of what was available for individuals in similar situations." and "Just wanted to thank you again for pointing me in the right direction for veteran benefits. I just got off the phone and was approved and am now enrolled to begin receiving these amazing benefits. Thanks again Steve. You are truly an angel. Riley"
Stephen Butler, Oral Hull Board Member, and himself a Blind Veteran, and Riley are both available for interview upon request.