A disabled Coast Guard veteran can finally experience a taste of freedom outside of his home after two years after volunteers for a California-based nonprofit built him a wheelchair ramp.
Chuck Wood, 83, is a Coast Guard veteran who served during the Cold War between 1956 and 1960, but for the past two years, he has been homebound in his Sacramento residence because leaving his home meant going down a set of stairs.
“It’s great to go out, get some sun, go check my mail,” Wood told Fox News of how his life has changed since Veterans of All Wars Riders (VAW Riders) volunteers built the ramp outside his home. “It’s been kind of hard because I couldn’t get out of here for two years.”
VAW Riders President Richard Randall, 51, who had a father who served in Vietnam, said many organizations turned down Wood’s request for a ramp because the permitting process was complicated and there were other construction issues.
“He was not too excited when we showed up,” Randall said of Wood, adding that the 83-year-old veteran was skeptical of those who promised help and failed to deliver on their promises.
“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 continued.
Wood, who lost one of his legs because of a blood clot, does not belong to any veterans’ associations and expressed disdain at the government’s lack of support for disabled veterans.
VAW Riders, which was founded in 2018, helps veterans with grocery delivery, rides back and forth from doctor’s appointments, and wheelchair donations.
The group also gave Wood an electric wheelchair as an upgrade from his old wheelchair before the ramp project was completed on February 28. Home Depot donated the necessary materials for the project, which took about a year to complete.