From One WWII Vet To Another–The Ability To Read Again
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Thank you to Shawna Hanson of MonTECH, the Montana AT Act Program, for this wonderful program success story.
Charles “Chuck” Webber is no stranger to tough situations. Over 23 years in the U.S. Air Force, he served as navigator on 60 missions during World War II. One harrowing mission required his crew to bomb a railway center near the Vatican. “If you miss the yards and hit the Vatican, you might as well not come home,” Chuck commented recently. “We hit our target and we missed the Vatican. If we hadn’t, you can imagine what kind of fuss that would have made.”
Well, I’m not sure that I can. What I am sure of is this: Chuck Webber is a man of courage and conviction who had a fascinating career. He is also a straight talker, and when he discusses the hardship of his vision loss, I know he speaks from the heart.
At 99, this New Jersey native now lives in Missoula. He is an avid reader who built a massive library to enjoy in his retirement. “Every time I’d read a book I liked, I would buy a copy for my retirement library. I had a library built up of about 5,000 books,” he said. Then macular degeneration began stealing away his vision. The loss has been hard to take and is difficult to put into words: “For someone who has been a reader, when you lose your sight, it’s just unbelievable.”
Unable to read anymore, he was thrilled when he received a donated CCTV from MonTECH. A CCTV is a desktop device that magnifies text and changes contrast to improve readability. Perhaps most interesting, this CCTV was donated to MonTECH by the daughter of another 99-year-old WWII veteran, James W. Hahn. Hahn was also a veteran of the Korean War.
The CCTV makes a powerful difference in Chuck’s life, and he’s grateful to the family of James Hahn for the gift. “When you can’t read, and you can’t see people or recognize people, and then you get something like this,” he explained. “Suddenly you can read again and it’s a whole new world.”
The AT3 Center, the Association of AT Act Programs (ATAP), and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center, ATAP, and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.
The Assistive Technology Act Training and Technical Assistance Center(AT3/AT3 Center) is a project funded under grant award # 90ATTA0001 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL). AT3 provides technical assistance and supports to State Assistive Technology (AT) Programs funded under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364). The AT3 Center is a sponsored project of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) The information on this website does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of ACL, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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