"From Blind Veteran to Special Agent - He's Day, Elroy Day, 007"

Annandale, VA 8/02/2007 12:29 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

He worked on submarines in the Navy.  Then as a result of a tragic home invasion in 1995 in North Carolina, he’s now completely blind.   Elroy Day is a special agent to us.  He’s now helping other blind veterans and soon deaf and quadriplegic veterans become special agents too, designated as ‘007’s’ by the new Purple Heart Service Foundations training program.


Even though he uses many high-tech gadgets at work now, he’s not likely to be eavesdropping on other submarines or to be sent on some clandestine mission.  You see, Elroy Day is now a Call-Center agent, a graduate of the Purple Heart Service Foundation’s Veterans Business Training Center (VBTC). 

Although the VBTC has trained hundreds of veterans with a variety of disabilities, Elroy Day was the first of only two veterans who have been trained and graduated who are blind.  Now that the technology has been proven with Elroy Day acting as both in-house scientist and lab rat, the admissions doors of the VBTC are swinging wide open searching for other blind veterans.  “Their bodies may be broken, but their minds are as sharp as razors,  we as a country need to sheppard the use of this national resource,” said Ken Smith, VBTC Program Director.

Lending support to the VBTC program are telecommunications and VOIP heavyweights Avaya, Plantronics, Five9 and Webtrain. These corporate sponsors are enthusiastic about the opportunity to help improve employment conditions for combat wounded and disabled veterans attempting to re-enter the workplace all working from home.

It’s important to note that Elroy Day receives no financial aid from the Veterans Administration because his disabilities are unrelated to his military service.  His blindness is the result of being shot when three armed men invaded his home demanding money in 1995.  Thanks to a special headset developed by Plantronics, Elroy hears instructors, classmates, and customers through one ear, and hears the words typed on his screen from his JAWS software with his other ear. As the VBTC’s Blind Access Project Manager, he’s passing on the knowledge he’s learned to other blind and vision disabled veterans. “It’s more about ability than disability at the VBTC.  They focus on what you can do, not your limitations,” Day said.

The Veterans Business Training Center is a competitive and rigorous, 15-week virtual training program focused on reintegrating homebound combat-wounded and disabled veterans back into the workforce. Coming on line this fall is another special agent program, in conjunction with Prudential Life Insurance, designed to provide quadriplegic and spinal cord injured veterans with Call Center training.  A special agent program for the hearing-impaired is also in development.

More information on the Purple Heart Service Foundation and VBTC can be found at www.purpleheartfoundation.org.



Contact: Tempie Thompson

Purple Heart Service Foundation





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