ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – By wheelchair is the most comfortable way for local Army veteran Pete to get around. His home isn’t equipped for his large wheelchair. So, a local veterans group is making it their mission to make his life more comfortable.
“I received a letter on my birthday, on my 21st birthday I believe, that said ‘welcome to the draft,'” Pete said.
In 1973, Pete, whose last name is is being left out due to privacy reasons, was getting ready to graduate college. He agreed to sign up for the Army for two years.
“Well those two years turned into a 23 years lifetime adventure,” Pete said.
His time in the service has been hard on his body. He suffers from things like heart and kidney problems, but he also hurt his back and hips in a training accident that confines him to a cane, walker or most comfortably a wheelchair.
Pete’s home is getting a new wheelchair friendly design thanks to the help of Wounded Veterans Foundation.
“What we are [building] are ramps for the front of the home and for the back,” Wounded Veterans Foundation President Brock French said. “We are doing all new floors throughout the home because we are opening up all the doorways. So, he’s going to receive bigger doorways to get his wheelchair through.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Work begins early next month. In all about $20,000 worth of improvements will be done all through donations.
The group even spent Thursday at the Construction World Expo at the Coliseum meeting with contractors.
“In our wildest dreams we could’ve never thought of this,” Pete said.
The Wounded Veterans Foundation was founded in Muncie, but has expanded to 28 states. Click here to visit its website.