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United States Shines at 2017 Invictus Games

Photo from Invictus Games: https://www.facebook.com/invictuslondon/

On Saturday evening, the 3rd annual Invictus Games held their closing ceremony, and several members of the United States team will be returning home from Toronto as champions. The week long event gained worldwide media attention thanks to appearances from current First Lady Melania Trump and former President Barrack Obama. 90 participants from the United States competed in both individual and team events, with many of them bringing back medals!

One of the most impressive performances at the Invictus Games came from United States Marine Corp Veteran and mother Sarah Rudder, who won five gold medals! Rudder won four medals in track and field events, and added a fifth gold with a team win in the one-minute rowing competition. She also won a silver medal in the four minute rowing contest, and a bronze medal as a member of the sitting volleyball team.

For the United State’s men, several individuals won multiple medals. Josh Lindstorm took gold and silver in archery events, and also won a bronze medal as part of the US golf team. Nathaniel Hamilton picked up a gold and silver medal in swimming events, while Brant Ireland earned a bronze and silver medal in cycling.

The final medal of the weekend was at stake when the United States wheelchair basketball team took on the Netherlands. The United States cruised past Denmark in the semi-finals with a 42-17 victory, but met a very determined and talented Netherlands team in the final. In front of a packed gymnasium, the United States was able to secure a 55-51 victory and yet another gold medal!

The 2018 Invictus Games are scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia from October 20-27. Next year, ABC will broadcast several events and the ceremonies of the 2018 Invictus Games nationally. Don’t miss a moment!

Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed in this years events, and a special thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made the games possible!

MobilityWorks is Proud to Support Operation Injured Soldiers

Photo from Operation Injured Soldiers: https://www.facebook.com/operationinjuredsoldiers

Founded in 2005, Operation Injured Soldiers is a nonprofit organization in Michigan that provides recreation opportunities to wounded veterans. Their mission is to thank heroes for their sacrifices and help get them back into sports and hobbies they enjoyed prior to deployment. Last month, the group took their annual Muskie fishing trip and a few members from MobilityWorks tagged along for the excursion.

MobilityWorks Chief Financial Officer and avid fisherman Gerhard Schmidt first got involved with Operation Injured Soldier five years ago. Their shared passions for the outdoors and helping America’s veterans made for the perfect partnership. Schmidt attended the annual fishing trip for years, but this time he was unable to attend. However, fellow MobilityWorks employees, Brett Meals and Alex Kyger, were happy to fill in!

Gerhard Schmidt said “It has been an honor watching this event grow into what it has become knowing that it provides wonderful benefits to our Veterans. What could be better than spending a day with the heroes of our country fishing?” The annual trip has grown to include over 30 boats (several of them wheelchair accessible) and 100 participants. All of the proceeds for the event go to the Brave Hearts Estate, an over 200-acre farm that was donated to Operation Injured Soldiers. Throughout the year, they host several events at the farm, and the lodge there also offers free lodging to Veterans and their families.

On September 18th, the group set sail on Lake St Clair just East of Detroit. Alex and Brett were paired with two retired Veterans and their boat had a very successful day. They caught 7 Muskies in total with three of them coming in at over 40 inches! The evening concluded with a dinner at the Grosse Point Yacht Club. It was a great day of fishing, and most importantly the event raised over $100,000 towards helping America’s heroes.

Follow them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/operationinjuredsoldiers

2017 Invictus Games Officially Begin

Photo from Invictus London 2014 : https://www.facebook.com/invictuslondon/

In 2014 Prince Harry of Wales set out to make a difference for injured soldiers returning from war, and created the Invictus Games. He started the international sporting event to inspire recovery, help support rehabilitation and to raise awareness and respect for those who serve their country. The Paralympic-style multi-sport event features adaptive games such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing. The first Invictus Games took place in March of 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England. This year they are being hosted in Toronto, Canada and the opening weekend was a great success!

On Saturday evening spectators filled Toronto’s Air Canada Center to welcome the 550 competitors from 17 nations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prince Harry both gave moving speeches at the opening ceremony. In 2008 Prince Harry, who at the time was third in line for the British throne, was deployed to Afghanistan. On his return flight home, the coffin of a soldier was brought onto his flight, and it was at this time he knew that he needed to use his platform to help honor those returning from war.

In his speech on Saturday Prince Harry thanked all of the participants for their service, and stated “Some of you have cheated death and come back stronger than before. You are all winners. You are proving to the world anything is possible.” Canada’s popular Prime Minister was greeted with a roaring welcome and went on to give moving speech of his own. Trudeau talked about how everyone should consider what they can do to make a difference, and support the men and women who have sacrificed so much.

The games will continue through September, 30th and will conclude that evening with a closing ceremony. To view the complete schedule of events, watch live streaming matches or to learn more about the Invictus Games please visit www.invictusgames2017.com

Check out the video below from Retired US Air Force and Invictus Games competitor Patrick Roberts, as he talks about the importance of the event:

Stop and See Us at PVA 7th Annual Summit + Expo in National Harbor, MD

The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) 7th Annual Summit + Expo is being held on August 29 – 31, 2017 in National Harbor, MD. The Paralyzed Veterans of America has a long track record of helping to change lives and build brighter futures for those who live with SCI and related diseases.

This year’s focus will be Microvascular Disruption and the Potential Therapeutic Stem Cells in SCI, Gene Therapy Approach, TBI Chronic Encephalopathy and PTSD as well as the Impact of Co-Morbidity in MS.

Some of the keynote speakers include Dr. David Carroll, Executive Director in the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at the Veterans Health Administration, and Kathleen Costello, Associate Vice-President of Healthcare Access for National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

To learn more about the event, please click here

While visiting the PVA Summit Expo, please stop by MobilityWorks Booth #108. Representatives will be on hand to answer all of your wheelchair accessible transportation questions. We look forward to seeing you there!


Looking for used handicap vans?

Learn more about our new and used wheelchair vans for sale here.

USS Arizona Survivors Visit Washington DC

Lauren Bruner, Ken Potts and Donald Stratton are three of the five remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. During a recent visit to Washington DC they attended a formal wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The men were honored with a certificate and a coin from the Old Guard Third Infantry Regiment, who guard the tomb.

The survivors were also able to visit the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials. They spent time at the Pentagon and met with President Trump in the Oval Office.

More importantly, they came to Washington DC to lobby for the Navy Cross to be posthumously awarded to Joe George, the man responsible for saving both Bruner and Stratton, when the USS Arizona was attacked.

MobilityWorks was very happy to donate the use of 3 wheelchair vans to these amazing men and their families, so that they could travel easily around the city.  

The USS Arizona

The USS Arizona was attacked in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The USS Arizona remains where she sank in Pearl Harbor, as a Memorial to the lives lost that day. For more information please visit:   http://www.ussarizona.org/

Photos courtesy http://www.ussarizona.org

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