MARINE CORPS LOGISTIC BASE ALBANY, GA -- Col. Charles V. Mugno, base commanding officer, hosted a luncheon Oct. 31 at the Base Conference Center in honor of people with disabilities.
The center was filled with smiling and familiar faces. The room was decorated with first-place ribbons and checkered flags portraying the theme for the luncheon "Win with Ability."
Lt. Cmdr. Roger Richards, command chaplain here, opened the luncheon invocation. He asked God to bless everyone, especially individuals with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Richards also asked for everyone to keep these people in their thoughts and prayers at all times, not just during Disabilities Awareness month.
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner was served at the luncheon that featured turkey, ham, gravy, yams, green bean casserole, rolls, stuffing, and peach cobbler for desert.
DeAnna J. Garrett, Equal Employment and Opportunity program manager here, selected the Thanksgiving dinner to remind her what she is thankful for: having the opportunity to help and work with people who have disabilities.
The guest speaker for the luncheon was Scott Barr, who works for the Georgia State Department of Labor's Rehabilitation and Vocational Division. In 1990 Barr was involved in a skiing accident that put him in a wheelchair.
Barr talked about his struggle for independence after adapting to life in a wheelchair, having no use of his legs and limited use of his hands. However, through different programs he has been able to complete college.
He also has a dog, Martha, who assists him with daily routines, said Barr. She picks up things that Barr might drop, along with being a companion.
Barr brought devices that disabled individuals can use to aid them in daily activities. Part of Barr's job is to help create these devices and make them available to people with special needs.
Some of the things Barr brought with him were as simple as a sponge with a long plastic handle designed for people to wash areas on their bodies that they canÕt reach due to a disability. He also had more complex creations, such as a three-section computer keyboard that can conform to someone's hands. The keyboard is designed for individuals who have limited use of their hands or arms.
Garrett shared her feelings about the importance of having the luncheon and the people with disabilities special emphasis program.
"The base has a 2 percent goal, and right now 1.8 percent of the people on base have disabilities," said Garrett.
"The disabilities program is designed to recruit disabled individuals into the work place and to assist and accommodate individuals currently employed by the base," said Garrett.