For as long as she can remember, Aubrey Youngs wanted to serve our country.
“I want make a difference in this world and that was the avenue I thought would be best to do that. So on my 20th birthday I went and signed up for the military,” said Youngs.
She was an active member of the ARMY National Guard, and after completing her training was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004.
“I was stationed just outside of Kabul in Camp Phoenix and was working in a warehouse. Six months into my tour there I was in a accident with a fork lift I was tossed off of a shelf and was paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury,” said Youngs.
Through her work with Allenforce, a nonprofit that focuses on healthy living for veterans and their families, Youngs learned about Action Trackchairs, a way for her to enjoy her passion for the outdoors.
Trackchairs are all terrain power wheelchairs, combining the technology of a snow mobile and ATV.
“Its allowed me to get back out and enjoy that. I have woods behind my house with a little bit of a hill, I have about an acre of land and now i can fully enjoy my land where I wasn’t able to in my manual chair i can fully enjoy what I have close to home,” said Youngs.
Through the use of the chair, disabled veterans have chance to regain their independence.
However with an $18,000 price tag the chairs are not easily accessible, until Allenforce started the Vetank Program, allowing vets to rent the trackchairs.
“The trackchair basically does the same thing a power wheel chair does besides getting you most places a power wheelchair cannot get you. And it doesn’t primarily get stuck outdoors when you are hunting and fishing. Or navigate the parks and recreation and so forth. So it really opens up a whole new ball game for individuals with disabilities,” said ARMY Veteran, Robert Arciola.
When a Naperville business owner, Scott Flak, heard about the trackchair and the nonprofit he knew he wanted to inspire the community to help.
“I have family that served in the military and actively serving and on a daily basis around the world they need to know that when they’re serving around the world and when they come that their country is behind them, not just their country but also their community. So that was the focus for me was to really start at that community level,” said Flak.
Naperville Trackchair officially launched on July 1 and by July 4 an anonymous donor gave enough so they could donate their first chair to Allenforce.
“It’s not to stop, and that’s the most important thing, its not about one, we keep going and as long as we can, and the support of the community immediately gave me a real indication of what this can turn into. And so we’re going to continue to keep rolling” said Flack.
To learn more about the program or to donate head over to napervilletrackchair.com
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