Carl Blake was raised in Woodford, VA and comes from several generations of family members who served in the military. It was always his dream since he was a kid to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1998, Blake graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree.
After graduating from West Point, Blake was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (1st Brigade) of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He graduated from Infantry Officer Basic Course, U.S. Army Ranger School, U.S. Army Airborne School, and Air Assault School. His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and German Parachutist Badge.
While on active duty, in April 2000, Blake sustained a spinal cord injury during a parachute training exercise. He did his spinal cord injury rehabilitation at the Richmond VA Medical Center in Virginia. A PVA National Service Officer was one of the first individuals he was introduced to at the Richmond VAMC, and that NSO helped him secure all of his veterans’ benefits and necessary health care. Blake retired from the Army in October 2000 due to his injury.
Blake became a member of PVA in 2000. He has “remained with PVA for more than 18 years dedicating my life to helping veterans and their families, particularly veterans with catastrophic disabilities like spinal cord injury or disorder.”
PVA was by my side through every step of my rehabilitation process. PVA also gave me my first career opportunity after leaving the military.
In January 2018, Blake was named PVA’s executive director. The most important thing he has learned in his role is that “there are thousands of veterans with spinal cord injury and disorder who rely on us to be their advocate when they otherwise do not have a voice. PVA supports these veterans so they have opportunities to live fulfilling, active lives in their communities.”
Blake is a member of the PVA Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Virginia. He lives in Fredericksburg, VA with his wife Venus, son Jonathan and daughter Brooke. Blake enjoys classic and muscle cars, deer hunting, and being in the outdoors.