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Wounded Vietnamese-American Soldier Receives SegwaySalem-News.com
Vietnamese-American United States Army Captain James Van Thach, who was among thirty-seven severely wounded warriors that were presented Segway personal transporters by Segs4Vets.
(NEW YORK) - "As the holidays approach here in the United States, let us reflect for a moment how fortunate we are to live with freedoms in a country that is protected by our brave military men and women," says Tommy Nero Sullivan of V.I.P. Promotions. "Since the United States’ War on Terrorism, many of our military men and women have sacrificed to protect our nation and many more return home to us with severe wounds. We must ensure that we provide the best level of care and opportunities for our wounded warriors so that they can live a life without feeling discouraged by their disabilities."
Recently in San Antonio, Texas in front of the Alamo on November 9, 2011, Tommy Nero Sullivan of V.I.P. Promotions met Vietnamese-American United States Army Captain James Van Thach, who was among thirty-seven severely wounded warriors that were presented Segway personal transporters by Segs4Vets.
Segs4Vets, created in late 2005, is run by volunteers as part of the Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (DRAFT), and represents people with disabilities who refuse to be defined by their disabilities. Their passionate enthusiasm for participation in life’s activities is supported by this and other emerging technologies.
Captain Thach, an Infantry Officer, was severely wounded twice in Iraq, once by an improvised explosive device (IED) and second by a Katyusha rocket that was fired into the base. He and the Iraqi soldiers were standing only 20 meters away from where the rocket hit and were sent sprawling onto the ground.
“I feel lucky to be alive and return home to the great people of America. It is inspiring and I am grateful that Segs4Vets provided me with a Segway to improve my lifestyle despite the injuries that have wrecked havoc on my body from the war in Iraq”, said Captain Thach.
“When I was younger I heard stories from my mother’s relatives that served in the military for South Vietnam. They and their comrades endured many fierce battles fighting to protect South Vietnam against Communism. Reluctantly, due to politics beyond their control, their nation was taken over by Communist North Vietnam.”
“When they returned home there were no organizations like Segs4Vets helping former members, let alone wounded veterans of the South Vietnamese military. The only thing waiting for them was re-education camps designed to break their spirit of freedom, hard labor and to force them to be indoctrinated to Communist ideology or they would be summarily executed for non-conformity.”
In conclusion, Captain Thach stated, “We veterans that are returning home from war are fortunate to have a country to return to and a fine organization such as Segs4Vets that is dedicated to helping wounded warriors live fulfilling lives in the greatest country that is called America.”
More than 60,000 wounded warriors have been medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of the War on Terrorism. Improvements in combat medicine and better equipment are saving more lives and many warriors are surviving catastrophic disabilities that challenge conventional treatment protocols. The Segway is not covered by military insurance but is a prime example of how new technology can dramatically improve the quality of life of a disabled person.
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