Pentagon Federal Credit Union, issuers of one of the best credit cards in the U.S., will change the lives of more disabled veterans by donating $30,000 to Segs4Vets to build custom-designed ALLY Chair adapted Segways for combat veterans wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.
PenFed’s donation will fund ALLY Chairs: adapted Segways that allow their operation from a seated position, giving paraplegics and double, triple or quadruple amputees the freedom to operate independently.
“Every time we give the gift of mobility, we are truly changing a wounded warrior’s life forever,” said PenFed President and CEO James Schenck. “We are proud to support Segs4Vets in their efforts to empower our nation’s military heroes.”
“If you’ve never been in a wheelchair, you can’t fathom the freedom that an ALLY Chair gives you,” said Segs4Vets Founder and President Jerry Kerr. “Permanently disabled veterans can now go virtually anywhere, places their wheelchair couldn’t. This solves many of the mobility issues facing these veterans. It also rekindles their desire to serve themselves, their families, and their communities. So the impact extends to their wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, and other family members and friends whose lives have been turned upside down.”
“We have seen videos of paraplegics using ALLY Chairs to carry mattresses, push snow blowers, and race up and down hills with their children,” said Schenck. “The greatest gift we can provide for other permanently disabled veterans is to give them back their quality of life.”
Segs4Vets, a highly acclaimed nonprofit organization, awards Segways and ALLY Chair adapted Segways to men and women of the United States military who have sustained injuries resulting in permanent disability while serving our nation in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom. The program began in 2005 as an unprecedented grassroots effort by volunteers who passionately believe when those serving our nation are sent into harm’s way and are severely injured, they must have access to every resource available in which will allow for their successful reintegration into their communities and encourage them to follow a path of independence rather than dependence upon return.
That same objective continues today: to enhance our recipients’ mobility, to provide them with role models and a road map so that they can remove or avoid frustrations that might inhibit their ability to live an independent, joyful, purpose-filled life.
The Segway is a universally designed mobility device which does not draw attention to one’s physical disability. In 2014 Segs4Vets, in addition to awarding Segways, began fabricating and awarding ALLY Chairs, adapted Segways which are operated in a seated position, for those who have unique needs and cannot make productive use of the Segway standing. These unique tools are solving many of the mobility issues facing our disabled veterans in a manner which is both psychologically uplifting and physically beneficial. It rekindles the desire and the motivation for them to continue to serve themselves, their families and their communities. The impact of the program resonates well beyond our recipients; it extends to their spouses, children, parents, family members and friends whose lives have also been turned upside down. The program’s impact has resulted in dramatic positive changes in family dynamics for those military families.