Through generous donations, we have completed Phase One of the “Celestial Observatory”. The attached pictures show the “Sky Shed” proudly standing on the Aspinwall, PA campus of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. This “pioneer project” is the first “Astronomy for Disabled Veterans” program for any VA hospital in the United States.
These results from a VA study explain why this program is so important:
84% of returning veterans had symptoms of depression; 28% screened positive for suicide
ideation” … “VA studies reported 4.5% doend their own lives.”
(Study by Dr. Alan Teo, VA psychiatrist)
Phase One – In the new “Sky Shed” is an interim telescope, donated by the Amateur Astronomy Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP). This telescope makes it possible for many of our Veteran men and women, now residing at the VA Hospital, to actually view the heavens. We continue in our effort to raise funds to add the main telescope and electronics for the observatory, enabling our disabled Veterans with special needs and challenges to also utilize the facilities. This astronomy program will provide “evening activities” to help our veterans ease loneliness and depression. We have been told by many administrators at the VA Hospital that this program, providing activity in the loneliest hours of the evening, could indeed save a veteran’s life.
Phase Two – Money raised for this phase will provide a digital camera, computers, monitors and electronics, so that physically challenged veterans can see the heavens in real time, on computers inside the hospital. On completion of this phase, our disabled Veterans will be able to electronically access, interface and utilize images from telescopes across the country, as well as NASA.
We ask that you consider supporting the completion of our A4DV (Astronomy for Disabled Veterans) program. We very much need all the help we can get – and so do our military heroes that desperately need this activity. (gofundme.com/astronomy-for-disabled-veterans)
Your support is very much appreciated!
James R. Surman
Chairman, Veterans Programs – Stephen P. Barry Assembly, 4th Degree K of C
For more information please contact Jim at:
(Please title emails: VA Telescope)