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Our founder, Ray Connell, served in the Korean War performing Air/Sea rescue over the Sea of Japan. He was assigned to an old, WWII era PBY “Flying Boat” that had been retrofitted with jet engines. Hearing protection was generally not in use back in those days, and Ray began to suffer from hearing loss.
Over the years, Ray’s hearing continued to decline. By age 70, the condition had grown chronic enough to limit his social activity, and his ability to communicate with others. He retired from Nellis AFB as a Civilian Contractor.
14 years later, Ray’s son Leonard Connell took him to a local audiologist in hope of getting hearing aids. The audiologist was honest enough to admit that hearing aids would not work for Ray and directed him to the VA in hope of a grant for implants.
After filling out and submitting numerous forms, 10 months later, Ray was awarded 100% disability for hearing loss from the VA. He had never been advised that he was even eligible for such a benefit. Upon discussions with his son Leonard, it was decided to form Veterans Assistance Angels in order to educate other veterans about their benefits and assist them in navigating the labyrinth of the VA to obtain the benefits they are entitled to due to their service.
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