PVA motivates disabled veterans

Betsi JamesFood

What is Paralyzed Veterans of America and why should we chip in $1, $3 or $5 at checkout at Food City?

Meet Mitchell Hinkle, a member of PVA’s Southeastern Chapter who lives in Snellville, Georgia. Mitchell is a senior benefits advocate and senior NSO.

He served in the U.S. Navy, and likes to tell that his father served 33 years in the Army, was in WWII, Korea and his last two years of service were in Vietnam. But in one-third the time – 11 years in the Navy – Mitchell traveled to more places than his dad went.

Mitchell was injured in an automobile accident while on active duty. He was a complete quad at the time – had no use of upper or lower extremities.

He learned about PVA while at the VA hospital in San Diego. Mitchell had obtained a degree in computer science, but was having trouble finding a job. The PVA representative asked if he wanted to be a service officer.

Why yes, he did. Mitchell has been with PVA since 1985. It’s a way, he says, to help out someone else in the same situation that he had been in.

“Even though you might have a spinal cord injury, you’re not 100% disabled. You might have some restrictions, but there’s a way of going around those restrictions. Instead of a straight road you might have to take a bypass or something, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.

“And that’s what I like about PVA. The chapters help a lot of veterans, male and female, learn ways of doing things. It might not be the same way, but there might be a different way.”

Mitchell says that PVA educates the veterans on the benefits they are entitled to.

“When you come from active duty and are injured, you have to find a way to bring income in and be responsible. Veterans in a paralysis situation are understandably scared, and many are young.

“PVA gave me the push to get up every single day instead of just being a couch potato. I plan on staying with PVA as long as I’m capable of working.”

Food City and race car legend Richard Petty support veterans like Mitchell Hinkle. And we encourage our customers to give just a little to the PVA. The promotion will run through July 28. Over the past 10 years, Food City customers and vendors have raised more than $1.25 million for PVA.

Weekend ad specials today through Sunday include baby back ribs, Kerns sandwich bread for 88 cents and tables of garden-fresh fruit and vegetables. Check the ad: Food City_7.10 Knox ROP

Betsi James is special events manager for Food City’s Knoxville and Chattanooga divisions.


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