COPD Disabled USAF Veteran Seeks Financial Aid For Stolen Wheelchair Van
by James Ivery
(Augusta, GA, USA)
Greetings. My Names Is James Ivery. I am a COPD disabled USAF veteran.
I have five boys and two daughters, two granddaughters and two great granddaughters. I was married in April 1978, but separated two months later.
I was born in Jefferson County Georgia. My mother's name is Miss Elouise Ivery and my Father is the late Mr. Norman Roberts, both of Jefferson County Georgia.
I began a freedom fighting and civil rights journey at the early age of 16, starting in St. Petersburg Florida where I joined a Black Power organization named JOMO (Junta of militant organization).
On the eve of the assassination Dr. Martin Luther kings Jr., I was caught and jailed for attempting to burn down a white-owned business out of anger of the killing of Dr. King.
At the age of 18, I joined the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force I organized a handful of Airmen and boycotted the base chow hall, (cafeteria) complaining about the food.
At the age of 20 I was discharged from the Air Force and settled back in Louisville Georgia, Jefferson County.
During the year 1970 the Jefferson County Chapter SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) was going full speed ahead in Jefferson County.
Once again the freedom fighting spirit welled up in me, but I was reluctant to join the organization because of its non-violent practices.
After much thought and coaching from hometown friends, my ideas of a violent organization quickly changed and I became a non-violent member of the SCLC.
For help in making this decision, I thank Mr. Bobby Adams, Mr. Eugene Washington, Mr. Ronnie Neal and other members of the SCLC, including the then president, Mr. George W. Boatwright, who had taken me under his wings.
Once a member of the SCLC, I became one of the top leaders in the struggle for justice and equality in Jefferson County, Georgia.
During the civil rights movement in Jefferson County, at the beginning of July 1973, I was arrested with 17 other freedom fighters, including the SCLC president, Mr. G. W. Boatwright.
We were tear-gassed, maced and jailed in the county prison and brutally beaten by Georgia State Troopers and the local law enforcement.
Our release from prison came on July 4, 1973. We had been arrested for marching without a permit and initiating a selective buying campaign on the white-owned businesses downtown Louisville Georgia.
After my release from prison, like the other freedom fighters of Louisville, I received death threats from local law enforcement and the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), forcing me to flee back to Florida.
While in St. Petersburg Florida, I noticed a white-owned business in my neighborhood, a bar in the black community that allowed white only to enter. Black folks could be served, but only from an outside window.
Again the freedom-fighting spirit welled up in me and using the non-violent tactics learned from the SCLC, I organized the community and led a successful three-month boycott on the business.
It forced the white-owned establishment to change its policies and allow blacks as full patrons. For my heroic deeds, I received a letter of recognition from the Justice department in Washington D. C.
In 1975 I went to Enterprise Alabama and was ordained an evangelist. I returned to St. Petersburg Florida where I preached the Gospel for two years.
In 1977 I went to school in St. Petersburg Florida and successfully completed a course in respiratory therapy. I practiced as a respiratory therapist in Florida from 1979 to 1996.
Then I relocated back to Georgia where I continued to work in my field. In the year 2003, while living in my hometown Jefferson County Georgia, I worked as a respiratory therapist in a Washington County hospital.
In 2003, I was diagnosed with emphysema, irreversible lung damage, COPD and was declared disabled. Today, in 2012, the disease has progressed to severe and I am confined to a motorized wheelchair.
Realizing the seriousness of my illness and disability I moved to Augusta Georgia to be close to the very person I felt loved and cared about me, my brother, Mr. George Dixon Jr.
My 1986 G20 wheelchair accessible van was stolen from the Ervin Towers apartments where I live in Augusta, Georgia on July 2 2012 at about 4 am.
The van was my only means of transportation and used primarily to make doctor’s visits and do grocery shopping. That van and my motorized wheelchair is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Your help is needed urgently in helping me to regain and return to some sense of independence and freedom.
Right after my van was stolen I immediately notified the Richmond County Sheriff Department.
I was interviewed and had stories done by Channel 12 (WRDW), Fox News 54 and NBC News to help me to find my van and make a plea to the community to donate funds to buy another wheelchair accessible van. The plea is as follows:
"Your help is needed in helping a disabled military veteran to return to a sense of independence and freedom by making donations of $1, $5, $20 or any amount. It will all be greatly appreciated, and all monies received will be used for said asking. Minister Ivery is currently receiving social security benefits and just cannot afford to get another van himself."
At this time I am seeking a grant, or anything that would help me to get back to some freedom and a good sense of independence, because at this time I am homebound with little to no help.
I am reaching out to any and all because I am drawing social security benefits and just cannot afford to buy another van myself.