Jeremy Wolfsteller’s office is located next to the polytrauma unit at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. As a Minneapolis American Legion department service officer and an advocate for the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program, Wolfsteller sees the needs of veterans who come and go from the unit and how OCW can aid in their recovery. That’s how he met wounded Afghanistan veteran Kyle Anderson and made his wish for an e-reader program possible through an OCW grant.
OCW recently paid for the startup cost and a yearlong membership to Bookshare, which is an online library of more than 530,000 books for “people with print disabilities.” Through Bookshare, Anderson, who suffers from a severe traumatic brain injury that has impaired his speech and reading, will be able to read in a variety of ways. For example, he will be able to hear and see highlighted words on screen; read with enlarged fonts; listen to books with text-to-speech voices; and more.
“This is life-changing for Kyle,” Wolfsteller said. “He was so happy and his care team is now able to advance his reading capabilities and work with him.”
As a service officer and wounded Iraq veteran, Wolfsteller understands firsthand the importance of comfort and reahabilitation items to aid in a servicemember's recovery. This individual OCW grant is one of many he has helped make possible for wounded veterans receiving care at the Minneapolis VA.
"I let everyone at the hospital know that the Legion is here, providing these programs, services and advocacy," he said.