San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) February 27, 2013
Although U.S. troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the war never ends for severely injured military service members. On March 6, 2013 more than two dozen wounded warriors will receive Segway personal transporters from Segs4Vets to improve their mobility and independence at a ceremony on the forward deck of the historic USS Midway.
Segs4Vets, ranked as one of America’s best charities and recipient of the prestigious Spirit of Hope Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, will award the Segways at an outdoor ceremony on the deck of the USS Midway on Wednesday, March 6, at 10:45 a.m. The ceremony is open to the public. General Hal Hornburg, USAF (Ret) and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Col. H.C. "Barney" Barnum USMC (Ret), Segs4Vets board members, will participate in the presentation.
Segs4Vets is a project of Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (DRAFT). The program is dedicated to restoring independence and productivity to severely injured service members. Segs4Vets has awarded more than 1,000 Segways since 2005 and plans to award 2,000 more in the next five years.
Last year the number of Americans wounded in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan passed the 50,000 mark. The Pentagon classified more than 16,000 of the wounded as so "severely injured" that most would have died on a battlefield just a generation ago. Improvements in protective gear and battlefield medicine and evacuation save the lives of 90 percent of the injured. However, the survivors are living with more debilitating injuries. More than 1,653 service members have lost a limb to amputation since hostilities began in 2001.
"The fact that this war is finally ending means little to the severely injured who face a lifetime of disability and challenge because of their injuries," said Jerry Kerr, the President and co-founder of Segs4Vets. "We have seen no let up in demand for Segways and we do not expect any change in the immediate future. The country is war weary but we must remember our brave soldiers, sailors and Marines and make certain they get the best possible tools so they can reclaim lives of independence and dignity."
"Our focus is not so much on what has happened to these American heroes but what lies ahead for them and their families. They must rise again and continue to be productive participants both in their families and in our overall society. The Segway helps them do that," said Kerr. "While amputees face special challenges, many of the other injured service members suffer just as much with a range of severe injuries which leave them living with pain and limited mobility."
The Segway, a battery powered two wheel mobility device, has found an avid following among the disabled because its universal design allows almost anyone to use it without drawing attention to the disability. Recipients use their Segways to attend college, remain on active duty, work in private sector jobs, and engage in recreational activities and everyday tasks like shopping with their families. Recipients say the device makes it easier for them to stand longer and travel farther without fatigue and the need of extra pain killers. It has been so life changing for many recipients that their families credit the device with improving family relationships.
For more information, visit http://www.segs4vets.org.
Segs4Vets was started in late 2005 by Disability Rights Advocates for Technology, a 501c3 created to represent people with disabilities who refuse to be defined by their disability and whose passionate enthusiasm for participation in life activities is supported by Universal Design and new and emerging technologies. The organization is a member of Military Veterans & Patriotic Service Organizations of America and has been certified as one of the best charities in America by the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence, an honor accorded fewer than 2,000 of the more than one million public charities in the United States. DRAFT launched Segs4Vets as a way to thank disabled American veterans of all wars for their sacrifice and for changing the face of disability in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.segs4vets.org.