Wounded soldiers from USA’s wars overseas are to receive free Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in a ceremony on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway on 4 April 2012.
Seg4Vets will gift Segway PTs to 39 vets located in San Diego, including 24 who lost legs in improvised explosive device blasts. Of the 24 amputees, five lost both legs and one recipient lost both legs and a hand. The others sustained extreme orthopedic, soft tissue and spinal cord damage which hinders their ability to walk. According to the press release for this event:
The Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing battery electric vehicle, has found an avid following among the disabled because its universal design allows almost anyone to use it without drawing attention to their disability. The impact of the Segs4Vets program resonates well beyond the recipients; it extends to the veterans’ family members whose lives have also been turned upside down. For many, the Segway has brought about dramatic improvement in family dynamics. Previous recipients have gone on to use their Segways to attend college, remain on active duty, work in private sector jobs, and engage in recreational activities with their families.
Segs4Vets was created in 2005 and has given out more than 850 Segway PTs to date. It expects to provide a further 2,500 over the next 5 years, including 1,000 donated by the late Jimi Heselden, owner of Segway, Inc.
UPDATED 5 April 2012: At the ceronomy, 10 News interviewed Segs4Vets founder and a veteran who received a Segway PT:
“For wounded veterans, it’s the perfect device for those who have lost their mobility or have a difficult time walking around,” said Jerry Kerr, the founder of Segs4Vets. “[It] lets them once again feel the wind in their face as if they were running again.”
“This is a game changer,” said Kyle Garcia, a wounded Marine. “When you have one prosthetic and one limb salvaged, walking is really hard.”