PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Brandon Rumbaugh lost both of his legs in the war in Afghanistan, but in his view, dealing with adversity is just part of living.
“So what excuses do you have to not work harder and not push forward with whatever’s going on in your life,” he said.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
Brandon has a lust for life and a desire to live it to the fullest. Now with the help of his all-terrain wheelchair, he’ll have the freedom and independence to go anywhere he pleases.
“Going out to the beach, stuff like that, do some hunting, not only going to make it a lot easier but a lot more safe,” he said.
Andy Sheehan: Seems like you could go through the woods…
Brandon Rumbaugh: Oh yeah, they said this thing will go pretty much anywhere.
His is one of a half dozen all-terrain chairs given to worthy local vets by the Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park Rotary Club.
The rotary raised $165,000 for each $15,000 dollar chair, but past president Herm Deickmann insists they’re but a token compared to the sacrifice of those warriors.READ MORE: Ohio River Boulevard Reopens Following Crash
“They write a blank check for the government and it can be cashed for any amount. His was cashed for his legs,” Deickmann said.
To get the chairs made, the rotary didn’t have to go far. They were developed in Slippery Rock at a company called TracFab which has produced more than 500 chairs in the past three years, the vast majority going to vets.
The chairs have no problem negotiating tough terrain, and the company has gotten feedback from vets across the nation, calling them life-changing.
“I’ve seen people who didn’t know they would ever be able to travel across gravel and they did and cried. So it’s opened up new doors,” said TracFab representative Kelly Patton.
For Vietnam war naval veteran David Smith, making the chairs is a labor of love.
“What these guys are going through, some of them, their lives were permanently damaged and now they can go out to the woods, they can play in the fields. They can go places a normal wheelchair won’t go,” Smith said.MORE NEWS: Sen. Bob Casey To Introduce Two Police Reform Bills