Handicapped Veterans

Read more about handicapped veterans - with topics ranging from personal stories to tips, advice, community involvement, news headlines, and more.
  • How Fireworks Affect Veterans with PTSD

    For most Americans, Independence Day is a time for celebration, characterized by fireworks, barbecues, music and entertainment. However, for those veterans affected by PTSD, fireworks can trigger a range of negative reactions - some of which may cause physical and/or mental harm.

    By knowing more about how PTSD affects our veterans, we can take steps to be more mindful of how our actions this Independence Day affects them.

    What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless.

    Symptoms of PTSD

    According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), PTSD is usually characterized by three main types of symptoms:

    • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares
    • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma
    • Increased difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered

    How You Can Help Veterans Who Have PTSD

    The main treatments for veterans with PTSD include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

    This July 4th, we can do our part to be respectful to veterans who have PTSD with some of the following suggestions.

    #1 - Let veterans know if you’re planning a fireworks display.

    If you have a next-door neighbor who happens to be a veteran, you don’t necessarily have to abandon your plans to celebrate. However, the courteous thing to do is let him/her know ahead of time when you plan to set of fireworks.

    #2 - Be specific and deliberate with your time frame.

    Keep in mind that veterans have fought for our country. Hearing unplanned fireworks can bring back painful memories or trigger a negative reaction from a veteran’s time in combat.

    If you plan to use fireworks, plan to be deliberate about the time frame. Let your fellow veterans know so that it won’t come as a complete surprise.

    Be respectful, and avoid setting off fireworks in the middle of the night or during hours when most people would be sleeping.

    #3 - Spread awareness.

    According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it is estimated that PTSD affects:

    • More than 30 percent of Vietnam veterans
    • As many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans
    • More than 10 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan
    • Roughly 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans

    Take the time to talk to the veterans in your community. By keeping open lines of communication, we can gain a better understanding of what our veterans are going through and be more proactive in our approach to celebrating the holidays.

  • MXV Gets Camo Wrap for 'Back in the Woods Again' Hunt

    Raleigh, NC (September 19, 2016) - 

    Van Products is a proud sponsor of the 'Back in the Woods Again' Hunt, an annual event aimed at providing disabled hunters with an opportunity to go hunting. This year, Van Products was excited to take a brand new Ford MXV SUV and outfit it in a customized camo wrap ahead of this year's 6th Annual event, which took place September 16 - 17.

    Starting off with a Clean Slate

    Pictured below, the Ford MXV Started off white, but it soon received a custom camo wrap at Executive Signs & Graphics:

    (Click on each image to view a larger size.)

    Ford MXV Gets Custom Camo Wrap

    In no time, the Ford MXV was completely transformed and ready for the Back in the Woods Again hunt. Take a look at the finished product below:

    (Click on each image to view a larger size.)

    About 'Back in the Woods Again'

    Founded by Tommy Estridge and Jerome Davis in late 2011, Back in the Woods Again is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aimed at providing disabled sportsmen and sportswomen with an opportunity to go hunting, despite being disabled. To accomplish this, Estridge and Davis partnered with private land owners in Chatham County, NC (as well as surrounding areas) in order to provide each of the disabled hunters with a great experience.

  • Van Products Captures Title at Bridge II Sports Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

    Van Products is a proud sponsor of Bridge II Sports, an organization whose mission is to educate, develop and implement opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities to play individual, team and recreational sports.

    This year, we hosted a wheelchair basketball team at the August Madness Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and we are proud to announce that our team took home the title! We are incredibly honored to be part of such a wonderful event. Learn more about August Madness as well as Bridge II Sports below.

    About August Madness 2016

    August Madness provides opportunities for organizations to join the adapted sports movement by participating in an exciting day of wheelchair basketball while supporting the mission of Bridge II Sports!

    Through sports, Bridge II Sports is helping raise awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities.

    At the tournament, organizations (like Van Products) put together a team of 4 employees to experience the fun of wheelchair basketball and play in a double-elimination tournament on the floor at PNC Arena.  Each team then picks an All-Star 5th player  to join their team.

    Check out one of our "winning" pictures below, taken at this year's August Madness Basketball Tournament!


    About Bridge II Sports

    Bridge II Sports believes that your disability does not define who you are. Through their organization, they invite members of the community to come together in an arena of fun to discover an active lifestyle, regardless of ability. Here, disabled veterans have a great opportunity to train and be part of a competitive team.

    About the Valor Games

    Each year, Bridge II Sports hosts their Valor Games. The Valor Games is a competition for all disabled veterans as well as disabled members of the Armed Forces.

    A body changed by injury needs the discipline and challenge of physical activity to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. It is the key to recovery and long-term health, and re-integration into your community at home.

    This year, the Valor Games Southeast was held at venues of historic competition and athletic excellence:

    Grant funding for the Valor Games is awarded by The Department of Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of adaptive sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

  • 6 NonProfit Organizations That Help Veterans

    Nonprofits do so much to help people in need around the country. Here are several nonprofit organizations that are working hard to provide assistance and support to our nation's veterans - both at home and abroad.

    Learn more about our Opportunities for Veterans to own wheelchair accessible vans.

    Army Combat Helmets assigned to Soldiers participating in the 2009 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition sit at the ready during the Urban Warfighting Orientation Course phase of the competition. The competition brought 28 Soldiers and non-commissioned officers from Guam to New Hampshire to Fort McCoy to determine the best of the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve winners will then compete in the Department of the Army competition held later this year at Fort Lee, Va.

    6 Nonprofits Making a Difference in Veterans' Lives

    #1- Veteran Tickets Foundation


    About: Vet Tix provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life.

    #2 - Soldiers Angels


    About: Soldiers' Angels provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and a growing veteran population.

    Thousands of Soldiers' Angels "Angel" volunteers assist veterans, wounded, deployed personnel, and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways.

    #3 - Wounded Warrior Project


    About: The Wounded Warrior Project mission is simple: to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.


    • To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
    • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
    • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

    #4 - Operation Troop Appreciation


    About: Operation Troop Appreciation is dedicated to the active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. By providing them with items that contribute to their morale and well being, we present a united front to our deployed military by supporting them as individuals, for every one of them.

    #5 - Hugs Project Incorporated


    About: Hugs Project Incorporated were the first ones to send cool ties (affectionately nicknamed “hugs” since they go around the neck) to U.S. troops in the Middle East. The nonprofit also sends care packages and other handmade items to our Service Men and Women.

    #6 - Veterans Airlift Command


    About: Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.

    Other, Related Posts:

  • Valentines for Veterans: 10 Ways to Show Love

    Valentine's Day isn't just about being in love; it's about showing love to those who matter - those who make a difference in your life. This Valentine's Day, why not show a little love to veterans? Below, we give you some great ideas (and resources) to help you think of the perfect Valentine's gift for the veterans in your life.

    blue and red jeweled heart by Neal on flickr cc

    Ways to Show Love to Veterans This Valentine's Day

    #1 - Make a Valentine's Day Card for a Veteran

    Wake County, NC - All libraries encourage patrons to create cards for veterans, which are distributed on Valentine's Day. [via Wake County.gov]

    Dallas, TX - Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers can stop by participating exchange facilities now through Feb. 6th to fill out cards, or they can bring their own cards to drop off. The exchange will arrange for delivery to local veterans on or before Valentine’s Day. [via Military.com]

    #2 - National Salute to Veteran Patients

    The week of February 14 each year is your opportunity to say thank you to more than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services who are cared for every day in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes.

    Activities and events include valentine distributions; photo opportunities; school essay contests; special recreation activities and Veteran recognition programs. [via U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs]

    #3 - Make a Quilt

    Check with local civic groups or nonprofit organizations within your community. Two great examples of organizations that make quilts for veterans include: Quilts of Valor, and Quilts of Honor.

    #4 - Host a Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

    Whether you host a small meal at your home with some local neighbors, or jump in with others to host a larger event, consider hosting a meal for the veterans in your local area. Check out the following ways people are doing this:

    • Tampa, FL - Valentine's for Veterans Benefit Gala [via 10News]
    • National - Wayback Honors Vets with American Heroes Meal [via Franchising.com]

    *If you see a military person/family in a restaurant, you can offer to pay for their meal, or simply thank them for their service.

    #5 - Business Owner? Show Support!

    If you're a business owner, show your support of veterans this Valentine's Day by hanging a sign in the window, or offering some sort of free or discounted item/service.

    #6 - Help a Veteran at Home

    Know a veteran or family of a veteran who lives nearby? Why not offer to run errands or help them around the house? Nearly 40% of our veteran population is 65 or older. Even a phone call just to check in can go a long way.

     #7 - Visit Your Local VA Hospital

    Find a local VA hospital near you and consider volunteering or visiting veterans who may be hospitalized. The staff members at the hospital should be able to direct you.

    #8 - Visit a Veteran's Grave

    Bring flowers, or offer remembrance through silence. Bring your kids, and use it also as an opportunity to educate them on the important role that veterans play in our lives each and every day.

    #9 - Invite a Veteran to Speak at Your Company or School

    Invite a veteran to share his/her story with your company, school, or other organization. Prefer something more intimate? Perhaps you could host a small gathering at your home and do the same.

    #10 - Gather supplies; Make Valentine's 'Care Kits'

    Check with your local military affiliate or other civic organization. Veterans can have a wide range of needs, depending on their military status, age, family, and medical needs. Items such as canes, wheelchairs, and ramps to toiletries, and more are all examples of things that you could help collect and donate.

  • 8 Holiday Gift Ideas for Disabled Veterans

    We have much to be thankful for this holiday season (and the rest of the year), thanks in large part to military veterans who have selflessly given of themselves to protect our country and livelihood.

    This holiday season, there are tons of ways to honor disabled veterans throughout the United States. Below are some holiday gift ideas for disabled veterans.

    image by JanetR3 on flickr cc

    8 Gift Ideas for Disabled Veterans During the Holidays

    #1 - Holiday Cards for Heroes

    Bring a little Christmas cheer to disabled veterans by writing and distributing holiday cards throughout your community. This is something that you can do with friends and family, through your church, or even through your local chapter of The American Red Cross.

    #2 - Operation Holiday Joy

    Operation Holiday Joy accepts monetary donations, which goes towards the purchase of food and toys for military families in need.

    #3 - Trees for Troops

    Founded in 2005, Trees for Troops is a charity organization whose mission it is to deliver real Christmas trees to veterans and other members/families of the local armed forces.

    #4 - Operation Homefront

    Donate to Operation Homefront to help provide financial assistance, food assistance, repairs, and more to the families of wounded and/or disabled veterans.

    #5 - American Legion - Operation Comfort Warriors

    The American Legion's Operation Comfort Warriors is a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded veterans, injured veterans, or other ill military personnel. The organization helps by providing "comfort items" not typically supplied by the government. Items may include things such as: electronic devices, sweat suits, puzzles, books, calling cards, computers, bigger recreational items, and more. Donate here.

    #6 - No Sew Blanket Drive

    No Sew Blankets is an blanket drive led by Soldier's Angels. The blankets are a easy craft project with a huge impact, and they are a great way to show your appreciation to veterans. Click here for more information, or send an email to: rcheatham@soldiersangels.org.

    #7 - Honor Flight Network

    Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization that flies disabled veterans and veterans alike to Washington DC to visit memorials built to honor their service to the nation. Priority is given to senior veterans, World War II survivors, and other veterans who may be terminally ill. Donations are graciously accepted.

    #8 - Help Our Wounded (HOW)

    Founded in 2009 by Rosie Babin, Help Our Wounded (HOW) is dedicated to helping severely disabled/wounded veterans and caregivers of disabled veterans by offering support and resources unique to their individual needs. Donations to HOW help provide items to wounded veterans, such as: financial assistance, caregiver coach training & matching, emergency calling cards, education, and more.


  • Honoring Veterans with Improved Options for Better Mobility

    On Veterans Day, we remember and honor the brave men and women who served (and currently serve) in the United States in the Armed Forces. However, at Van Products, we make it a point to continually honor these Veterans and countless other families by providing them with better choices for improved mobility.

    Improving Mobility for Veterans & Families

    Each person's mobility challenges and needs are different, which is Van Products offers multiple solutions to meet your needs. Whether you are in search of a specific kind of wheelchair lift, such as a Ricon Wheelchair Lift, or you're in search of other mobility products - we offer veterans and families a multitude of options to choose from. As a leader in mobility products and handicap vans in North Carolina, our trusted team of mobility experts are happy to work with you 1:1 to help you make the most informed decision regarding your mobility needs.

    Handicap Vans for Sale in NC

    Van Products is a leading provider of handicap vans for sale in North Carolina. Besides this, veterans and their families come to us whenever they have questions or concerns about handicapped vans - or even if they are interested in selling their current handicap van in favor of something more updated.


    Deals & Incentives for Veterans

    Purchasing a new or used vehicle can sometimes be expensive, and the same is true if you are in the process of purchasing a new or used wheelchair van. However, there are many deals and incentives available for veterans and their families. Speak to one of our mobility specialists today to find out more. We will be more than happy to help guide you through the process to help you get the savings that you deserve! Contact Van Products today for more information.

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