A disabled war veteran has ventured outside for the first time in two years after volunteers built a ramp outside his California home.
Chuck Wood, who served as a Coast Guard for four years during the Cold War, had been unable to leave his house in his wheelchair as the front door leads to several steps.
A California-based non-profit, Veterans of All War Riders (VAWR) has changed that by building Wood, 83, a ramp to help him easily leave his home.
The veteran had previously requested a ramp on a number of occasions, but other organisations had turned down his request because of complicated permit processes and other construction complications.
‘He was not too excited when we showed up,’ said the president of the non-profit Richard Randall, adding Wood had been sceptical after other non-profits had tried to help him and failed.
‘I said, “Look, Chuck, we’re here. We’re not going nowhere. And if we say we’re going to build you a ramp, we’re going to build you a ramp,”‘ Randall told Fox News.
Wood has been using a wheelchair ever since he lost one of his legs because of a blood clot. He has criticised the government’s lack of support for disabled veterans, saying ‘they put too much money’ towards the wrong efforts.
Welcoming the addition of the ramp, he said: ‘It’s great to go out, get some sun, go check my mail. It’s been kind of hard because I couldn’t get out of here for two years.’
The non-profit, which has also gifted Wood a new electric wheelchair, gathered the money for the ramp through a GoFundMe page, which covered costs for supplies and permits. The ramp also required the relocation of the electrical box and gas line outside Wood’s home. VAWR then enlisted the help of a local contractor who volunteered to build the ramp.
‘This wheelchair ramp couldn’t have been built without the generous donation from Home Depot who donated all of the building materials for the project,’ the organisation wrote in a statement.
Randall said the group had finally received permission to build the ramp after they informed an inspector that Wood had no means of escaping his home in the event of a fire.
‘To be stuck in a mobile home and not even be able to go outside – I couldn’t even imagine that,’ he said.
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