The silent cost of freedom
As we light up our grills, put on our bathing suits and enjoy family and friends let us remember the service men and women that have allowed us this freedom. On a day meant to celebrate our freedom, we felt it necessary to talk about one of the often silent prices our soldiers pay for our freedom. The number one service related injury affecting our veterans is hearing loss. According to the Heroes with Hearing Loss, an organization committed to raising awareness and providing solutions for this issue, 1.5 million service men and women sought treatment for hearing loss in just the year of 2011 alone.
The many challenges our service men and women face often overshadow the struggles of hearing loss. However, hearing loss often is "intertwined both physically and emotionally — as a trigger, a constant reminder or an every day frustration" for our veterans.
While awareness of the issue is important, prevention is also key. However, Techtimes.com states that soldiers typically refuse to wear traditional hearing protection due to the fact that their overall situational awareness is obstruct. The good news is that the military is seeking solutions, and in the same Tech Times article, they reveal their new solution to the problem, smart earplugs that amplify helpful noise, while muffling out harmful noises.
We first met the a Heroes with Hearing Loss organization at one of the sessions at this year's hearing loss Association of America convention. As we learned all about the issue of soldiers with hearing loss (how many people are affected and how little it's talked about) we immediately knew this was a cause we wanted to be invested in.
At Pretty Smart Homes we are dreaming up and planning ways to better serve veterans with hearing loss. We are planning on implementing a military discount program. We are working on a program in which our customers would have the opportunity to donate funds specifically to be used for veterans with hearing loss, which we intend to match.
And most importantly, we are committed to raising awareness about hearing loss among veterans, as well as hearing loss as a whole, so that we can better advocate for more accessible environments for those that are deaf and hard of hearing.
We ask that you join us in our efforts, by following along, by sharing this blog, or by starting a conversation with someone you love that is affected by hearing loss. We are confident that with the help of the community, we can create a better environment for those with hearing loss.