Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-10-13 16:55:28 –
Chesterfield, Virginia (WRIC-TV)-Retired Army Ranger James Howard has suffered numerous injuries in Iraq’s 82nd Airborne Division. He eventually remained paralyzed in a diving accident.
“I call my injury a blessing of misery,” he said.
Howard once again found mobility by using the adaptable bicycle that was handed over shortly after the accident.That freedom-moving again-inspired him To start REACH cycles.. Today, the organization provides more than 600 adaptable three-wheeled bicycles for paralyzed children and other children with disabilities and veterans.
“I wanted to give back in some way,” Howard said.
Howard says he thinks of those kids riding their bikes when they’re having a hard time or having a bad day.
“Whenever I’m having a bad day, every one of these kids who received the bike and their smile can remember, and it really puts life in sight,” he said.
REACHcycles is trying to find a way for people to work with, regardless of disability, to find a way to bike. They provided bicycles to amputees and blind children, and to countless other children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to ride a bicycle.
“It comes with special gloves,” Howard pointed out one of the features of the adaptable bike on the driveway.
But the veteran’s mission is not limited to motorcycles.
Howard and his group, Veterans and Athletes United, Created a monument to the fallen heroes to honor the troops lost in the war on terrorism. The monument was created using a dog tag and is 28 feet wide and 6 feet high. It is exhibited in more than 50 places including the 9/11 Memorial Hall in New York to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack.
“All of these tags have a story about the hero behind them,” Howard said.
Abi Baker volunteered to help organize the monument when he was still in high school. “I personally sat looking at the computers because they were sorted alphabetically to make sure they were in the correct order,” she explained.
Dog tags are red, blue, and silver and are displayed in the form of the American flag. Each tag bears the name of a soldier killed in the war on terrorism. Currently, there are over 7,000 dog tags.
“There are opportunities in every turmoil,” Howard said.
Next year, he plans to add the names of 13 military personnel killed this year in Afghanistan in an attack outside Kabul’s airport.
“It’s sad to see it growing,” said the monument Baker.
Howard has received so many requests for travel monuments from all over the country that he wants to make a replica that can be placed in the west and hopes to connect with volunteers to help make that happen.
“We receive requests from Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco all over the west, and it’s great to elicit such remorse in that area,” he explained.
While the monument is on the road, a paper version is on display at Howard’s Virginia home, so school groups and others can also compliment.
“People can really heal and learn from it,” he said.
Paralyzed Army Ranger’s new mission: provide adaptable bikes Source link Paralyzed Army Ranger’s new mission: provide adaptable bikes