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Local group donates refurbished wheelchairs to veterans

One local group is dedicated to making sure veterans can get their mobility back. Today they received a donation from the Elks Lodge to help make that possible.

Veterans Mobility Corp received a donation from the Elks Lodge to help them continue to refurbish and donate wheelchairs.

“It started out as a favor to a veteran with the one chair. We saw how much joy and feeling that was to just have mobility and have a life again and go places,” said Frank Smith, Vice President of Veterans Mobility Corp.

They’ve been going ever since. In almost two years they’ve given 188 chairs in different states.

“If you can imagine that because they were veterans and because they were active in their whole life and to be confined to a bed or a manual chair where they couldn’t really go to places, it means a lot,” says Smith.

Nancy Shamel takes the donated wheelchairs apart, cleans them and refurbishes them. She says she’s been working with veterans since the Vietnam War.

“I started in 1967, and I worked as a flight attendant for World Airways in and out of Vietnam during the war,” says Shamel, Veterans Mobility Corp coordinator.

Something she’s passionate about.

“The fact that we get to give them back their mobility, and it’s just an honor to serve the veterans in any way I possibly can.”

The veterans who get the wheelchairs are appreciative. Ron Barrows has had his wheelchair for two years.

“Before, I couldn’t walk that much I had to sit down. Every time I go into stores I had to use their little hot rods,” says Barrows.

He hasn’t looked back since.

“It’s great, it’s a great service that frank and this organization does.”

All the wheelchairs are donated and so are the time and supplies. The group does accept donations for more information on how you can donate you can call 208-351-2967.

Who is eligible:

An Honorably Discharged U.S. Veteran of the Armed Forces Spouse of an Honorably Discharged Veteran Child of an Honorably Discharged Veteran You will need a copy of the Department of Defense form DD-214 or a copy of the veterans’ VA card

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