HLAA salutes America’s heroes who served to protect our freedom. Thank you for your service.

Do you have a hearing loss due to military service? A report from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that more than 60,000 military members are on disability for hearing loss from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

HLAA was founded in 1979 by Howard “Rocky” Stone, a retired CIA agent, who endured hearing loss from his service in the United States Army. Rocky was well-known in the agency for both his skill and his hearing loss. On one occasion he was having a hard time “hearing” when talking with then-Director Richard Helms, so Rocky plopped himself on Helms’ desk and asked him to face him directly so he could read his lips! Another time, his old-fashioned body hearing aid was mistaken for a recording spy device and was confiscated. Rocky earned the Agency’s highest honor and went onto establish an organization for people who have hearing loss and want to stay in the hearing world with technology and strategies.

HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter

HLAA is excited to announce the formation of our very first virtual chapter for veterans with hearing loss (caregivers welcome too!). Chapter members communicate via an online platform called Basecamp, and conducts monthly meetings, complete with captions, using Zoom.

The founding members have applied for an EIN, are working on chapter bylaws, and discussing priorities for the future. During the first meeting on September 26, 2018, the group adopted its mission: 

The mission of the HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter is to provide education, be an advocate for veterans with hearing loss, and to provide a support system to help them to return and adjust to civilian life.

If you are a military veteran with hearing loss or a caregiver of a veteran, we welcome you. Join the chapter by sending an email to Erin Mirante.

The HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter is sponsored exclusively by Starkey Hearing Technologies logo

Complimentary HLAA Membership for Veterans

HLAA is honored to offer two types of membership for United States veterans (both include the other benefits of Individual membership):

  • Digital Membership – this complimentary membership includes our award-winning Hearing Life in digital format; or
  • Non-Digital Membership – Hearing Life, our bimonthly magazine, will be delivered right to your mail box; complimentary for one year, renewal at $35/year.

Our bimonthly magazine, Hearing Life, is a helpful resource on the latest in technology, medical issues, legislation, personal stories, and more. If you are a veteran and are interested in joining HLAA, please complete the Veteran Membership Form and mail it, fax it or email it in.

Complimentary HLAA Convention Registration

HLAA would like to show its support of veterans attending their first HLAA Convention by offering a complimentary registration (as well as for a caregiver). For more information about registering for HLAA’s annual convention, contact the HLAA Meeting Planner.

The HLAA Convention has workshops, a trade show with all the latest technology and services, is communication accessible (real-time captioning and assistive technology in all sessions) and is a lot of fun!

Meet Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) David Schible

Photo of Sgt. 1st Class David Schible
Sgt. 1st Class David Schible in Afghanistan

Hearing loss has not stopped David Schible in the least. Recently retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, David Schible continues to fight the war on hearing loss, speaking to every arriving soldier at Fort Stewart to educate them about noise and hearing loss. David doesn’t consider himself a hero after deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. But he is to us – in addition to serving this great country, David spends much of his personal time giving back to the community, often with the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club which does charity work for the homeless and helps the elderly. He also volunteers at the Fort Steward Child Development Center, assisting the games and fun activities for the children. The list of his involvement in his community goes on. You can read David’s story in Fighting the War on Hearing Loss from the November/December 2017 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (now Hearing Life).

Telecommunications Equipment and Assistive Listening Systems

Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information about accessing devices at a reduced rate or free of charge depending on the eligibility requirements.

Banner photo of Don Doherty, retired Marine Corps combat veteran, at the Iwo Jima Memorial by Cindy Dyer, Dyer Designs