On May 6, 2021, Freedom Alliance gave an all-terrain wheelchair (ATWC) to U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Reveles who is medically retired. Aaron is the 50th veteran to receive a customized chair from Freedom Alliance. SPC Reveles enlisted in the Army in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in 2004 at just nineteen years old. While there, his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, severely injuring both his legs and his left arm. In 2020, after a long battle with chronic infection, Reveles lost his left leg.
Reveles lives on a forty-acre farm in Peyton, Colorado, with Lisa, his childhood sweetheart of 22 years, and their two children. With this new chair, specifically customized to his needs, he will be able to work his farm and enjoy outdoor activities with his family.
Freedom Alliance’s ATWC program began in December of 2013 when we presented our first chair to Marine Cpl Carlos Garcia as a Christmas present. Cpl Garcia became a double amputee in 2010 at the age of 20 when he was hit by an IED in Afghanistan.
Like Aaron, Carlos wanted to be active and independent and loves the outdoors. These all-terrain wheelchairs allow wounded heroes like Aaron and Carlos to hunt and fish, to do yard work, build fences, go to the beach, enjoy hiking trails, and take their children camping. These chairs remove many of the limitations that wounds, prosthetics, and regular wheelchairs impose. They greatly improve the quality of life for our wounded veterans.
Since the War on Terror began, more than 1,600 service members have lost limbs in combat, and many others have suffered traumatic spinal cord or brain injuries. The need for mobility continues, and Freedom Alliance has several more chairs planned for deserving veterans in 2021.
At Freedom Alliance, we know that healing is a process. The wounds of war, both visible and invisible, take time, resources, and community to heal. Receiving an all-terrain wheelchair is often the servicemember’s first interaction with Freedom Alliance and many of them continue their healing journey by participating in other Freedom Alliance activities such as our outdoor therapeutic events, and couples retreats. We have also supported their children who have become Freedom Alliance scholarship recipients.
Freedom Alliance is here and will continue to be here for wounded American warfighters and their families.