Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta


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I just recently surpassed my first year anniversary being employed full time for the Office of Veterans Affairs. The year went by quickly but was also difficult for me due to being blind. Some of it was on my end and some of it was on the V.A. end and most of it was all due to the fact that the V.A. technology was far from being current. I’m glad to say, though, that we’ve gotten over the first hump. This is a wonderful surprise because Central Office actually listned to my requests even if it took a whole year and a formal complaint to get there.

Another surprise was the knowledge that I am purportedly the only blind counselor among thousands who had the gumption to complian while also being employed as a counselor. So, folks, this means I’m an enigma, and exception. A front runner for the blind and visually impaired counselors employed by the VA Vet Centers Nationwide.

I find this hard to believe, but so far no one else has identified themselves since I came on board.
Sure, there have been, and still are, blind psychologists and rehab counselors. But I’m the first family therapist.

It’s really quite weird and I don’t want the label. I just want to do my job and at the end of the day, take pride in knowing I did good.

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Love The New Job

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Okay, so it’s going on a month that I’m working for the VA. It’s been great so far and I know that I’ll be able to finally get my lisence and move forward with my plans for the future. I need to say, however, that my heart is also in a good place, as I feel that I can provide, in a small way, the compassion and understanding Vets deserve for protecting our freedom.

Let me go even further and state that underneath I’m a fervent patriot and over the years since 9/11I’ve felt pulled apart by the current deployments in which our Nation has become involved; this galvanizes my effort to support the men and women coming back . I can’t make the government change anything firsthand but I can do my part for our society individually by doing what I can and that’s why I love what I do. So, for me its all about serving and purpose and helping others.

Okay, off the soap box.

Now, on to Verona: she has become an unofficial therapy dog when not in harness. She understands when it’s time to work for me and when it’s time to give to others. It’s an amazing thing. Just the other day a Vet was hanging out by my door and I could tell she wanted to ask me something, as she was hesitating. So i asked if she wanted to come in and say hi to Verona and she came straight in and Ro went over and put her head in the woman’s lap. It was just ten minutes but I could tell that when she got up to leave, the Vet was less stressed out and for that I am glad Ro could help.

So, I know we’re in the right place. It’s like coming home.

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