ARLINGTON, Va. --
Segs4Vets presented 51 Segways to wounded warriors at the Marine Corps War Memorial Oct. 6.
Segs4Vets has been donating Segways, a self-balancing electric scooter that allows riders to stand and travel in various environments, to wounded service members since 2005.
“Our goal is to eventually get one to all the wounded vets that need one,” said Chris Black, communications consultant for Segs4Vets.
In five years, Segs4Vets has awarded 525 Segways to service members in need.
Jerry Kerr, one of the Segs4Vets founders and president, uses a Segway to get around due to a spinal injury. He added that the Segway has made a tremendous difference in his life, and it allows him to do things he could not do before.
Before wounded warriors receive their Segways, they are required to take a training course to learn how to use the device safely and properly.
“They haven’t a clue about how much fun they are going to have,” said retired Lance Cpl. Mike Hodge, Segs4Vets volunteer and the first Vietnam veteran to receive a Segway from the program.
Corporal Larry A. Draughn Jr., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine division, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, lost both of his legs in 2009 while he was on a patrol in the Helmand province, Afghanistan.
“I am very excited, it’s going to make life a lot easier for me and my family,” he said.
Draughn also said he felt blessed to receive his Segway from the Segs4Vets program.
During the ceremony, all of the recipients demonstrated how the Segway will be a great asset to their daily life.
Kerr said the best part about a Segway is that it doesn’t draw attention to their disabilities and it makes it easier for them to get around.
This year’s ceremony was in memory of Jimi Heselden, chairman of Hesco Bastian Ltd and Owner of Segway Inc. Before he died, he donated 1,000 Segways as a gift to the program valued at more than $5 million. The Segs4Vets program said they are pained to not have the opportunity to thank him for his breathtaking generosity.
“Our goal is to eventually get one to all the wounded vets that need one,” Black said.
She added due to Heselden’s generosity the goal is now within reach.
“This is a product that is not available from any other source,” Kerr said. “Given the right tools there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”