WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is pleased to announce Peter Gaytan as associate executive director of its Veterans Benefits Department. Gaytan, an Air Force veteran, brings extensive experience in both nonprofit management, and veterans' benefits and advocacy to the organization. Gaytan has held various positions at a number of large veterans' service organizations, and is widely regarded as an expert in his field having appeared on national media outlets like CNN, CBS and Fox News to discuss veterans' issues.
"It's an honor to work for an organization that advocates for some of our nation's most catastrophically injured veterans," said Gaytan. "I'm excited to join the Paralyzed Veterans of America team and continue the important work of ensuring these veterans have all that they need to live long, productive lives."
Gaytan has been advocating for America's veterans and fighting to secure and protect their earned benefits for two decades. His experience includes managing the oversight and administration of benefits delivery, legislative portfolios, veterans' health and rehabilitation, education and employment, and communications and public policy. He has extensive experience working with Congress and the Administration to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims process as well as the quality and timeliness of health care delivery within the Veterans Health Administration.
Gaytan is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he served as an avionics technician, Honor Guard training flight instructor, military protocol liaison and port mortuary assistant. Gaytan has provided final honors for more than 200 military funerals. He also served four years in the Air Force Reserve as a Public Affairs Specialist. During his service, he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Ribbon.
Gaytan holds a B.A. in Political Science from Wesley College, and is a graduate of the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Maryland. He and his wife manage a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program, providing lessons for veterans and their families free of charge. He is also a published author of the book "For Service To Your Country: The Insider's Guide to Veterans' Benefits".
Veterans Benefits, the largest program area of Paralyzed Veterans, works through a nationwide network of 69 offices primarily co-located within VA spinal cord injury centers. This proximity makes Paralyzed Veterans service officers first responders who routinely oversee their care in Department of Veterans Affairs, ensure that they know and receive their benefits, and discuss options for education and employment—all from the bedside.
Last year, Paralyzed Veterans of America secured more than $1 billion in VA benefits for its veteran clients, and nearly $300 million in new annual and retroactive benefits. Such benefits include adaptive equipment, auto grants, burial grants, education, insurance, and others.
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (www.pva.org)
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SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America