According to NBC News, 26 more disabled veterans severely wounded in US military actions overseas received free Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) last week, bring to more than 1,000 Segway PTs that charity DRAFT (Disability Rights Advocates For Technology) has distributed under the Segs4Vets program.
Interesting details in the original article include:
- DRAFT says each recipient of a Segway sustained injuries in combat either in Iraq or Afghanistan, many from improvised explosive device blasts. These veterans suffered leg amputation, soft tissue damage, spinal cord injuries and severe orthopedic and neurological damage while serving.
- DRAFT says their Segs4Vets program is meant to give these veterans a newfound level of mobility and independence that’s not always achieved by a traditional wheelchair.
Marine Chris Vanetten, who served two deployments and lost both legs after stepping on an IED during a foot patrol, told NBC 7 his new Segway would allow him to move around with more ease and play with his dog.
“I have a dog at home that loves to run, so this Segway is going to help me out a lot in keeping up with her. This means a lot,” said Vanetten. It will also help him enjoy the sights in comfort.
“I can go down to the bay and actually enjoy the scenery instead of just thinking about how much my legs hurt and trying to find the next bench to sit down on,” said Vanetten. “I mean, this [Segway] is a life-changer.”
Veteran Scott Schroeder, who lost both his legs when his unit’s military vehicle rolled over an IED, told NBC 7 he’s excited to take his new ride out for a spin. More importantly, Schroeder, who now has prosthetics, says the Segway will make it easier for him to move around and play with his kids.
- According to DRAFT, Segs4Vets received a blanket waiver from the Pentagon in 2006 allowing the non-profit organization to donate Segways to military personnel. Since then, the organization has given more than 1,000 Segways to disabled warriors and to military rehabilitation facilities in San Diego, Washington, D.C., and San Antonio.
From photos included in the original article, it appears most recipients received the Segway i2 model, and at least one received an i2 with optional seating attached.