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Board of Directors Nominees Bios

2019 - 2020



Paul Austin
Paul Austin
Paul J. Austin was born on July 24, 1977 in Valdease, NC. He graduated from Freedom High School in Morganton, NC in 1995. He resides in Moncure, North Carolina where he continues keeping up with his own Landscaping and Tree Service business. Paul has 2 daughters: one that is a cosmetologist and the other that is leaving for the Air force July 31, 2018. He was in the US Navy from 2003-2007 where he entered basic training in Chicago, IL then was stationed in Norfolk, VA for 4 years. His assignments were held on the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise, Aircraft Carrier Eisenhower and The USS Wasp. He became a T11 paraplegic on November 9, 2017 when unfortunately he fell from a tree that he was cutting down. This hasn’t stopped him with wanting to make a difference in people’s lives for the good. He has always been a “go-getter” and wants to continue with that same aspect in life. He feels that he can touch people’s lives and share his experiences even better by becoming a board member of the PVA.

Arnold Beard

Aircraft and Control Warning Operator (AC&W), Serving in the Air Defense Command under NORAD and Pacific Airforce Command. I left the Airforce in 1971 after 4 years of service. After leaving the USA I later enrolled in Mortuary School in Syracuse, NY. Upon finishing Mortuary School I moved to Maryland to serve a required 2 year apprenticeship. After successfully taking the Maryland State Boards I received my Funeral Director and Mortuary license.

I was employed by Vernon Bailey and Bullocks Mortuary establishments for several years until, I decided to open my own establishment with my wife and children and some very dedicated employees I continued to operate the business for eight years following my Spinal Cord Injury. It was in those years I realized that life goes on no matter what circumstances you are confronted, and as long as you try you can achieve.

I have been a member of this Mid-Atlantic PVA Chapter for 16 years.

Our chapter has been one of the most viable and solvent chapters in the country. If you cast your vote for me when you get your ballots I promise you I will do everything in my power to put your concerns first, and keep our chapter strong and successful in order to serve all our members, and support our National PVA Organization.


Charles Bradley
Charles Bradley is a United States Army Veteran and resides in Raeford, North Carolina. Charles duties as a Chaplain's Assistant inspired him to pursue the ministry as a civilian where he has been actively serving as a lay minister for 32 years. Charles is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. He has been married for 23 years and has 5 adult children and 12 grandchildren. Charles loves participating in adaptive sports and being involved with the activities of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Charles has been a PVA member since 1987 and is actively involved with the Fayetteville VAMC Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Support Group.


Bagferry “Ace” Cruz
Ace was born in the Philippines and came to the United States in 1978. Ace completed his primary schooling in the Philippines and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in May 2001 with a degree in Accounting. Ace enlisted in the Marines in October 1978. He served 14 years before he was medically discharged as a result of a motorcycle accident. His level of injury is T4/T5. Ace has been a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) since 1992. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic PVA Chapter’s board. He is also a volunteer at the Fayetteville Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) and serves as the Veteran Administration Volunteer Service (VAVS) Officer. He is also a member of the patient education committee. In 2007, Ace was elected and served as the vice president and treasurer of the North Carolina Handicapped Sportsman Association. During his service in the Marines, his assignments included: Parris Island, SC; Cherry Point, NC; Camp Lejeune, NC; Navy Air Station, Millington, TN; Yuma, AZ and numerous deployments overseas. Ace’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Mast (3rd Award), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3rd Award), Good Conduct Medal (4th Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal. He has also received a host of appreciation letters for duties performed on station and in the community. Ace resides in Fayetteville, NC.

Jeffrey A. Dolezal
I was retired for the U.S. Air Force as the result of a service connected spinal cord injury. I was rehabilitated for my spinal cord injury at Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (May 1980 - December 1980). I have been a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America since 1980.

My wife of 35 years is Kathleen Dolezal and we have two daughters, Jessica, age 29, and Stephanie, age 25. I enjoyed helping my children grow and develop in young responsible adults. I play competitive billiards on local, regional and national levels, and also enjoy participating in poker tournaments. I am fond of trapshooting, fishing, hunting, and bowling. We currently reside in Fairfax, Virginia.

I spent almost 20 years working for PVA in its Veterans Benefits Department. I started my NSO training in Washington DC and completed it in service office in Roanoke, Virginia in 1985. I returned to Nebraska and became the NSO in Lincoln and worked there for 2½ years before I was asked to join the Veterans Benefits Department (VBD) team at the PVA National Office. I became the National Staff Assistant for VBD’s Director of Operations. In 1989, I was promoted to the Director of Training and became responsible for the hiring and training of all PVA National Service Officers. I developed the training material for the 16 month NSO Candidate training program and was successful in having the program approved by VA for use as a qualified On-The-Job training program for disabled veterans who were eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits.

In 1992, VBD’s operations and training programs were merged to create Field Services and I was named Director of Field Services at that time. I managed all aspects of Field Operations and also worked at the National level with various VA program managers, such as Prosthetics, Compensation and Pension, Vocational Rehabilitation, Volunteer Services, Memorial Services, and more. I served as a member of several PVA SCI center site visit teams, specializing in the assessment of prosthetics services and delivery issues. I also performed as the PVA team leader during some of SCI Center site visits. During this period, I also authored the prosthetics section for the Independent Budget that was submitted yearly to Congress. I served as the Director of Field Services until my first retirement from PVA in 2003, after 18 ½ years of employment.

After my retirement from PVA, I became involved with the National Wheelchair Poolplayers Association (NWPA), becoming its President in 2006. PVA later contracted with me to serve as a consultant to help develop its national billiards program. This eventually led to the creation of the PVA/NWPA National Wheelchair Billiards Tournament Series, which is currently in its 13th season.

In 2009, then-PVA Executive Director Homer Townsend recruited me to serve in the role as the Associate Executive Director for Veterans Benefits. I accepted and served in that role until my second retirement from full time employment in early 2011. During this time in that capacity, one of my duties was to provide regular reports and updates to the PVA Board of Directors and to the Executive Committee whenever they met.

In 2017, I was elected by the Mid-Atlantic PVA Board of Directors to serve as their national director on PVA’s National Board of Directors. Ever since, I have taken this role very serious and have tried to be a positive but effective advocate for doing what’s right. Proper oversight is required. There is too much at stake for our members if we don’t stay focused and true to our mission and be good stewards of our resources.

Thank you for your consideration.


Johnny Holland
Johnny Holland

Johnny “Quadzilla” Holland is an accomplished wheelchair athlete, mentor, and brand ambassador. He has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America for almost three decades, and has advocated with the organization on Capitol Hill to address policy concerns and representation for veterans with spinal cord injuries.

Born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, Holland joined the Army in 1984, attending basic training at Fort Knox and AIT school at Fort Dix, where he was classified as a 64C (motor transport operator).

Holland was stationed in Kentucky and Korea before PCSing to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1987. It was here that he was injured in a motor vehicle accident, suffering a spinal cord injury that would lead to a diagnosis of quadriplegia.

While an inpatient at the Richmond VA Medical Center, Holland’s optimistic disposition led to him being asked to talk with and encourage his fellow newly injured troops, a role he fully dedicated himself to. In rehab, he formed a close friendship with his recreational therapist, Ike Cook, who introduced him to wheelchair sports and encouraged him to stay on the move.

He attended his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Long Beach, CA in 1989, and has missed only two in the years since, earning the nickname Quadzilla for his prowess on the rugby court and larger-than-life personality.

Currently, Holland works as an ambassador for Van Products, Inc., an automobility company based in Raleigh, NC, and spends his free time engaging in various sports clinics, workshops, and competitions- including the Southeast Valor Games, the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, and billiard tournaments as far as South Africa.

Within his community, Holland is a mentor for veterans and civilians alike- often serving as a soundboard for the newly injured, and educating them on equipment and resources to make their lives easier.

Holland resides in Goldsboro, NC, with his wife of 35 years, Shirvon. He has an adult daughter, Jovane (a Marine Corps veteran), and a grandson due in November.

In his own words, Holland would consider it a privilege and an honor to serve on the board of an organization that has been so instrumental in his success and support as a disABLEd veteran.

Welton Locklear
My name is Welton Locklear I am a disabled veteran, I served in the military from 1974 through 1978. I was in the United States Army 82nd Airborne Field Artillery. I am married to my wife Barbara Locklear, we have two sons and seven grandchildren. When I got out of the Army I did construction. On November 11th 1980 I was in a automobile accident and was paralyzed from the waist down. I was in the hospital for about six months doing my surgery and physical therapy. After I got out of the hospital I went to a Technical College for three years working on getting my Business Degree. Over the years was doing a lot activity’s with my family fishing and camping. In 1995 I got into wheelchair sports playing basketball that one of the greatest things i ever did getting into wheelchair sports. In 2002 I started my own wheelchair basketball team, called the All Heart Tornados. I am the President and CEO of the team that is a Nonprofit Organization. We were a very successful team winning a lot of games and finishing second in Nationals one time. Then in 2003 I started participating in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and have been going to them every year with PVA Mid- Atlantic Chapter. In 2017 I was nominated as Sports Director of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Now I would like to be voted in as a Board Member with our Chapter.

Welton Locklear

Thanks for your support

Jimmy May
A 68-year-old disabled veteran of the Vietnam era. This December, Mr. May will have been in a wheelchair for 50 years. Mr. May was injured in Vietnam on December 1, 1968. At the time, he was in the Army serving with “The Big Red I” Infantry Division. While serving he received a Purple Heart, the Army Accommodation Medal, and other medals. Mr. May is past president of the Independent Wheelchair Athletic Association. He has been involved with Independent Wheels since 1974, and has served as president on and off for over 28 of those years. Mr. May is very much involved in wheelchair sports. One accomplishment of which Jimmy is very proud is that he is the only veteran who has attended the National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games for 37 out of the 38 years of the existence of the Games.

He also serves as coach of the Richmond Rimriders wheelchair basketball team. Mr. May bowls on the Sitting Ducks Plus bowling league. Mr. May lives in Midlothian, VA with his wife of 49 years, Sue. Mr. May enjoys spending time in Urbanna camping, fishing with wife Sue. Sue is a stylist and owner of Sue's Hair Care for Seniors. He has two sons, Troy and Kevin, and two grandchildren, Savannah and Zachary. Troy is a Sergeant for the Goochland County Virginia Sheriff’s Department and Kevin works for Hunter Construction.

Mr. May is a life member of the local chapters PVA, DAV, VFW and Sportable. He is also on the board of directors of American Wheelchair Bowling Association.

He is currently serving on the Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Board of Directors, he serves on several Committee with in the chapter.

Mr. May enjoys volunteering his time and services in helping all Veterans.

Mr. May would very much like your vote to continue serving the paralyzed veterans of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of PVA.

Terence "Smitty" Smith
Smitty was born in Fayetteville, NC. He graduated from 71st High School in 1978. Smitty served 13 years in the Army before his accident. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Jump Master. His awards and decorations include: the Army Accommodation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Army Service Medal, the Army Expedition Medal and the Noncommissioned Officer Development Ribbon.

Smitty, a C 6/7 as a result of an auto accident, has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Paralyzed Veterans of America since August 1990. Smitty has served on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter the last 9 years; two years as Treasurer, and before he was Vice President for two years and currently serving as Secretary. Smitty also volunteers at the Fayetteville Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). At the Fayetteville VAMC, Smitty coordinates activities and events between the Spinal Cord/Disease Injury (SCI/D) Support Group and the Mid-Atlantic PVA. He also assists with the daily administrative duties for the SCI/D Support Group.

An avid athlete, Smitty is a member of the Raleigh Sidewinders Quad Rugby Team. He has played wheelchair basketball for years and is a distance bike rider. He served as president of the Carolina Wheelchair Conference from 2003 until 2006.

Rickey Wood
My name is Rickey Wood. I am a Richmond, Virginia native. I was born at MCV and raised in Henrico. I presently reside in Midlothian. I went to Vandervall Elementary School and then Ridge Elementary. I then moved to the Highland Park section of Richmond and attended Highland Park Elementary. I then was promoted Thomas Henderson Middle School and John Marshall High School.

In 1979 I joined the Army in the delayed entry program, and actually went in 1980. I did my basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia and then went to Fort Polk, Louisiana. From 1982 to 1983 I was stationed in Bamburg, Germany. In 1983 I returned to Richmond and worked at various janitorial services while in the National Guard until 1997.

I worked for Snead Refuse until 2010, when I had an accident and sustained my spinal cord injury. At that time, I met Chuck Willis who was the President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Paralyzed Veterans of America. He introduced me to the Paralyzed Veterans of America where I have been an active member and participant until present.

I frequently go to the Chapter office to assist the staff with whatever I can do. I also am ready and willing to represent the Chapter at their numerous sports, promotional and fundraising events. I have attended the Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Tournaments, Golf Tournaments and Trap-Shoots, just to name a few. I have also sold items at the NASCAR races to bring public awareness to Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Since I already spend so much time with the Chapter, I am in a position to have a working knowledge of all the challenges and responsibilities of the organization. I feel this has given me an advantage and would serve me well as a member of the Board of Directors

Melvin Washington
I was born Jan. 27, 1945 in the city of Richmond, 1505 N. 25th street, the East End. I went to George Mason then to Armstrong High School. In 1963 I finished school and was married and had 2 kids. I work Hygrade Meat company and in 3 years, I bought my first home 20 Saint Claire Lane. 1965 had a good life, but my dream was to be a marine so I did 67-69, came home hardship on the wife so I came home to take care of my family. At John Tyler Community College I did 2 years, study bases law and I got in security. Yes, I another friend went in security business. In 1999 I was in McGuire Hospital later I heard about the PVA. 2009 I still couldn’t believe that people care that much about one another, I keep looking asking questions. I with the help of PVA member, Arnold Beard, Chuck Willis and the bus driver, I join the best from all the rest. I have learned much by being with the PVA. I like talking to people/helping in any way I can. Just call on me. I know not much but I am willing to try. I am a PVA member for life. If it’s God’s will I will be there to answer the call. I live by myself and I need something to work with helping others. Thank PVA.