Sgt. John Peck was on a routine sweep of improvised explosive devices with his team in Afghanistan when he became a victim of one himself. All he could remember was being flung into the air, landing on his back, and losing consciousness. When he woke up in a hospital, all of his limbs were gone. He no longer had arms or legs. Yet the doctors were able to save his life despite the severity of his wounds and the large amount of blood loss. He eventually came back home and his mom has been by his side ever since.
Thousands of veterans get wounded from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them lose their limbs which dramatically changes the course of their lives. Sgt. John Peck is just one of the quadriplegics to come out of the war on terror. It is difficult to fathom how a man could rise from such a tragedy but that is exactly what he did, along with the other wounded warriors. He has slowly regained much of his independence by adapting to his situation. Since coming back, he has even been able to do some scuba diving and sky diving. Sgt. Peck also enjoys much improved mobility thanks to an invention called the “track chair”.
Action Track Chairs
Most quadriplegics get around by using standard wheelchairs. These are fine if all you want to do is to go around the house, mall, office, hospital, and other flat environments. For veterans who are used to being active and outdoors, they are far too limiting. Fortunately, Tim Swenson was able to develop an all-terrain wheelchair that allows unprecedented mobility in virtually every type of environment. Swenson created it primarily for his son who is in a chair but he has made the technology available for the public. Wounded veterans soon took notice.
The track chair uses treads instead of wheels. This gives it the appearance of a micro tank and allows it to go over uneven surfaces with ease. Controls are simple so operation is a breeze. The utilitarian design and camouflage colorings make it look fit for a warrior. It can be used to explore the woods, go fishing along the banks of a river, hike up steep hills, and more. The chair certainly allowed Sgt. Peck more freedom to move about outside his new home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This piece of technology may not replace limbs but it expands capabilities and overcomes previously perceived limits.
The track chairs can be customized for every need. They come in a wide array of widths to ensure a perfect fit. The seat height is 23 inches while the overall height is 39 inches. They have a reassuring weight of 350 pounds that helps keep the center of gravity low and thus maintain balance at all times. They use a 24 Volt DC high thrust motor that is powered by two rechargeable batteries. The chairs can run at suitable speeds of 3 to 5 mph and have a range of 6 miles per charge. They come with a lap belt and are controlled via joystick located on the armrests.
The Independence Fund and other organizations have already given away several of these to the vets who need them. They hold benefit concerts and charity events to acquire funding. Sgt. Peck is just one of their numerous beneficiaries. You can help a wounded veteran purchase a track chair as well. This advanced technology costs at least $12,000 for the base model which is not within easy reach for many of them. These organizations encourage the public to attend their charity events or to contribute in any way to the cause. Donations will ensure that there’s hope for these gallant warriors.