ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Paralyzed Veterans of America is an organization that helps veterans with spinal cord injuries. For 75 years, the PVA has supplied a support system for paralyzed and disabled heroes.
"Just recently we went to capital hill and met with congress people to discuss different legislative issues that veterans with disabilities face to make the world more accessible," said Brian Hutton, the Deputy Director of PVA's Colonial Chapter. The serve veterans in Maryland, Delaware and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvannia.
On April 2, the Colonial Chapter is hosting the Great Roll to "bring awareness of paralyzed veterans into the community and it’s also to raise awareness to the difficulties that people with disabilities face in a city like Annapolis."
"In the army you meet your family, you meet brothers and sisters you just didn’t even know you had. Even years later, could be ten years in between, could be the same feeling that you just left them yesterday and I’m getting back that family feeling with PVA," said Jerod Harris, an Army Veteran.
He found PVA after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008.
He said, "I felt like i didn’t have anybody that I could talk to that had MS. What I saw of MS was people in wheelchairs. So in my mind, was tomorrow I’m gonna wake up in a wheel chair. I know that wasn’t true but in my mind that’s what I saw," said Harris. He added, "I went through depression which trigged my PTSD, which put me down a bad hole."
Now, he's working to become a counselor to help others like him. This is possible through PVA's HEART, Hoskins Education And Re-Employment Training, program.
"I wanna be there for some body with ms and who’s going through the same thing and I can say I’ve been where you are," said Harris. He added, "it's just a great feeling helping somebody else... especially when you know where you were."
Click here to check out the Colonial Chapter's Facebook page for more information.