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May 14, 2015

Marine Vet Shows off Adapted Cars for Injured Soldiers

Wounded Warriors Family Support's High Five Tour is driving across the U.S. to help injured vets get back behind the wheel.

"I told them from the beginning you are not going to get me in a mini van, it's not going to happen. I will not drive a mini van," Marine vet Tyler Huffman said.

Huffman has always had a thing for a nice pick-up truck.

But after a tour in Afghanistan, he didn't think getting behind the wheel again was possible.

"December 3 of 2010 I took a sniper shot through the chest which took out my right lung, liver and lower spine, which left me paralyzed from the waist down," he said.

After being introduced to Wounded Warriors Family Support, Huffman realized driving a truck again could be in reach.

"Driving with my hands was a little difficult at first, trying to get the coordination," Huffman said. "Push the break, pull for gas or push down for gas. It was a little weird at first. But after an hour or two of just practicing in the parking lot, I got it down."

Now he's one of the drivers for the organization's "High Five Tour" that's going from coast to coast letting vets know they can gain control of their everyday lives by taking the wheel.

"They don't realize you can adapt almost any vehicle. And we're that's what we're on this trip for. We're showing them that you can get an SUV, an F -150 pick up, an F-250, F-350, whatever you want pick up truck," he said. "They make these seats that will turn and come out and drop down and make it easier to transfer in and out. This gives them 100 percent freedom to go mobile on their own. Like our slogan, mobility is freedom."

Huffman says a lot of vets he's talked to have no idea how many resources there are to get your car adjusted to be handicap-accessible.

"Go to your local VA ask them about the mobility grant for a vehicle.There's grants out there, there's organizations out there that will help you get a vehicle, anything you want. But you have to let us know. That's why we're trying to get out there and get the word out," Huffman said.

 

 

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