While searching for articles related to a speech on video game benefits, I came across an article on LexisNexis database. This article was in The Washington Times, Feb. 11th 2008. The title was the attention getter for me: Veteran's Homes Seek Wii's. The article was a letter sent to the Sgt. Shaft section asking for assistance in acquiring two Wii's per American veteran's homes from Kenneth A. Fulmer, president of the Armed Forces Veterans Homes Foundation.
Since the AFVHF provides about 55% of the Department of Veteran's Affairs long-term care need, Fulmer wanted to start an initiative to "bring an advance in technology to our homes for the benefit of veterans therapy and rehabilitation." He goes on to write, "There are important benefits being derived by patients in long-term care from Nintendo's new video-game console, Wii. Paul and I think highly of Wii, so we asked our home administrators nationwide what they thought. Our administrators confirmed that Nintendo Wii indeed contributes significantly to veterans' quality of care and the quality of life." Fulmer and Paul Morin (superintendent of the veterans home in Holyoke, Mass.) wrote a proposal to Nintendo of North America asking for donations, but Nintendo "flat out refused to help."
Because I am a veteran from the Army, this upset me a bit. Not only because Nintendo's lack of help, but also the unrealistic budgets that the VA's provide for these types of veteran's homes.
I looked up Sgt. Shaft on Google to find out if there was any change in situation and was directed to BAVF
(Blinded Americans Veterans Foundation). Nintendo responded to the previous letter from Fulmer, and it follows:
Dear Mr. Fulmer:
I am writing to you on behalf of Nintendo of America in response to the recent letter you wrote to Sgt. Shaft. We are very sorry to hear about the difficulty you have been having in securing Wii systems for your program and regret that in your first attempt to reach Nintendo you were denied your request. We would like to formally look into your request to not only find out why you were originally denied and to determine if we can indeed help you in your search.
We fully support our troops and veterans and do what we can to help with their needs. We also know about the hard work of doctors, therapists and senior home leaders that incorporate Wii into their programs and want to continue to support them in their efforts.
Please contact me to discuss your request in more detail. Thank you for your interest in Nintendo and your invaluable support of our country's veterans. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Nintendo of America
Hopefully, by one means or another, these veterans homes will acquire Wii's. I know that if I eventually end up in one of these homes, I would be able to get my rehab gaming on. read