All American Ride and Glide – Nov 2nd

The Wake Forest Veterans Memorial is co-sponsoring a special event to support our veteran amputees.  It is the All American Ride and Glide on November 2, 2013.

Here is their story.  “This idea got started by a group in Wake Forest, NC called the Wake Forest Veterans Memorial  (WFVM).  For the past 12 years the WFVM has maintained a beautiful site in Wake Forest dedicated to remembering our fallen soldiers of all wars. Indeed, it has been an honor to challenge people to remember our fallen soldiers.

However, as we move forward we have been deeply moved by the plight of soldiers returning from the Persian Gulf (I am a Persian Gulf Vet myself) having lost their limbs due to IED’s and we are compelled to make a difference in their lives as well. Therefore, after a year of board review our new mission statement is: “To preserve the memory of our fallen AND the independence of the living.” There are over 1,600 soldiers who have returned from the Persian Gulf having lost at least one limb due to an IED. A large number are double amputees. Furthermore, many of them will never be able to fulfill the dream of having children due to their injuries.

Mobility is an issue that does not heal and does not get better. Therefore, we have to engineer augmentation that will allow as much freedom as possible for these men and women who have sacrificed their freedom for ours! Much work has been done with spring type prosthetic devices which offer some relief. However, fatigue is still an issue and covering large distances is still out of range for most veterans. Is there an optimal no-compromise solution? The answer is YES! Amazingly, the most advanced piece of mobility technology on the planet, a Segway, is the perfect device for our amputees. It allows vets to be at eye level or higher with the world around them; not looked down upon as in a wheel chair. It allows for fast, long range, all weather, all terrain navigation and has a zero turning radius.

The cost of an up-fitted Segway is about $10,000; far less than many much less capable medical devices. With that you would think we would be making them easily available for our veterans, but sadly that is not the case. We were appalled that the most advanced mobility device on the planet, a Segway, was not able to be paid for by insurance, VA benefits or through any kind of government grant because it is not technically a medical device. What is the solution? If money is the issue, then we raise money and beat this thing. We can effectively raise money to put a dent in the cost of a machine and make it obtainable for our disabled vets. However, it is not something that we can do alone. Therefore, since many of our committee belong to the local VFW post we sought out the partnership of the NC VFW along with several other strategic relationships.

So, we will not only raise funds for maintaining VFW memorial sites and locations in NC, but we also raise funds for mobility devices for veterans who have lost their limbs. One of our major partners is Segs4Vets, since they have a similar vision and have done a lot of the media work. All of us are working hard, collaboratively, to effect change.

The primary mechanism for raising money is the bike ride called “The All American Ride and Glide.” It is a 30-60-100 mile bike ride through Northern Wake county and a Segway glide along the Neuse River greenway.”

For more information and details, contact Les Burleson, Executive Director, WFVM, at 919-381-8808.  An event poster with details to give you a snapshot of the event is available for local post display.   Download AARG_POSTER


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