Monday, March 21, 2011
Support Our Disabled Veterans
But as I walked closer, on my way to have coffee, I saw a wheelchair and a walker. I saw scarred faces. One young man stood up on his two prosthetic legs and stretched his two prosthetic arms. Yet, they were laughing, talking and swearing.
I was in San Diego for a meeting, and pissed that the weather was not cooperating. They were here to receive Segways as part of the SEGSFORVETS program to provide this nimble personal transportation vehicle to Veterans who were disabled as a result of their duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Outside the hotel, a hulking Army Vet walked up to me with a cane. He looked about twenty-five and fully capable of kicking someone’s ass.
“This weather doesn’t bother me,” he said as he lit a cigarette, “I’m from Milwaukee.”
“What are you in town for?” I asked, though I already knew.
“SEGSFORVETS.” He said.
I asked him what happened and he told me that in December of 2005 he was hit with an IED south of Kirkuk, Iraq. His femur was shattered and they had to remove his large intestine. He spent two YEARS in Walter Reed Medical Center recovering. Much of that, I would assume, was to put his legs back together which were puffy and scarred with hundreds of lacerations, surely from the blast.
“Hey,” he stated flatly, “You win some, you lose some.”
Actually, he won and lost. He lost a hell of a lot…more than can be stated. He will win because he has the courage, fortitude and balls to have taken the worst the world can throw at him and plow ahead with conviction and bravery.
I shook his hand, thanked him for his service and wished him good luck. The price these men and women pay is not just on TV.
(There are lots of charities out there, I suggest www.draft.org. They raise money, they buy Segways, they give them to Veterans who need them.)