Decorated Veterans, Who Experienced Hearing Loss While Serving, Advocate Hearing Protection in "Hear Our Heroes" PSA

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Military Veterans Help Raise Awareness About Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Which is the #1 Military Injury Since 9/11 and Also Affects 1 in 6 teens

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Listen Carefully a program from Starkey Hearing Foundation

"Our troops do not always have the ability to protect their hearing in combat, but as civilians, we can protect ours," said Tani Austin, Co-Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Hearing loss is the number one military injury to veterans since 9/11. It affects 360 million people worldwide. According to data from The Department of Veterans Affairs, they spend more than $2 billion annually on hearing related disability payments. A 2012 report by the Washington Post News Service stated that more than 400,000 veterans of the war of Iraq and Afghanistan suffer diminished hearing, tinnitus (ringing in their ears), or often both as a result of roadside bombs, gunfire and loud engines. As a way to honor some of our heroes this Veterans Day and increase awareness about noise-induced hearing loss, Listen Carefully, a program from Starkey Hearing Foundation, gathered several decorated veterans to share their stories and advocate hearing protection.

The Listen Carefully "Hear Our Heroes" campaign features a PSA (public service announcement) and brings together distinguished veterans from several branches of the military who shared personal service stories in five additional videos. First Lt. Robert M. Hoover (Ret.) a former United States Air Force test pilot, purple heart recipient and National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee talked about the injuries he sustained after he ejected from a plane at 500 miles per hour, while Chief Warrant Officer Carl Burhanan, a founding member of the United States Army Black Aviator Association and a pilot for Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford, discussed the hardships of fighting in Korea during a harsh winter. Rear Admiral William Narva, MC, USN (Ret.), who cared for over five U.S. presidents, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and "Steel Will" author Shilo Harris and Major Harry Waterstone, who served 34 years combined in the Marines and Army Reserve.

Listen Carefully is a domestic program of Starkey Hearing Foundation, an international nonprofit that gives the gift of hearing to people in need around the world. Last year they provided more than 175,000 free hearing aids to people struggling with hearing loss. The Listen Carefully initiative aims to raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss, which has increased by 30 percent over the last decade, and ultimately, help prevent a hearing loss epidemic. Currently, 1 in 6 American teens has permanent hearing loss due to high-volume sounds. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but preventable.

"Our brave men and women in uniform have sacrificed so much for protect this country, including their hearing. Our troops do not always have the ability to protect their hearing in combat, but as civilians, we can protect ours," said Tani Austin, Co-Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. "We are excited to honor our service members and help raise awareness about hearing protection by sharing the stories of these distinguished veterans who know what it's like to lose their hearing."

For more information on Listen Carefully and to see stories from our featured heroes visit http://www.ListenCarefully.org/media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/listencarefully
Twitter: http://twitter.com/listencarefully
Instagram: http://instagram.com/listencarefully_org

About Listen Carefully:
Listen Carefully is Starkey Hearing Foundation's domestic initiative to raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss and help prevent a hearing loss epidemic. Today, 1 in 6 American teens has permanent hearing loss due to high-volume sounds. Football games, concerts, music players, and hairdryers can damage kids’ hearing in a matter of seconds. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but preventable.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation:
Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and change lives around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully campaign and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.
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PRESS CONTACT:
Karen D. Webb, Starkey Hearing Foundation
karen_webb@starkeyfoundation.org, (O) 310-691-1411 (M) 310-595-4646

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Karen Webb
@listencarefully
since: 11/2013
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