As a 10-and-a-half-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Robert Corbett, of Virginia, has a passion for flight that endures despite suffering a spinal cord injury in 2016. He continues to share his passion with others by working with Wounded Eagle UAS, an organization that provides training to veterans interested in becoming FAA-certified commercial drone operators.
While Robert enjoys the work he does with Wounded Eagle, he believes that veterans and civilians alike should have the chance to take flight however they can. That’s why he created “Flight Takes Many Forms,” a movement aimed to teach individuals with disabilities, veteran or not, how to operate drones as a vocational skill.
When he’s not soaring through the skies with his drone, Robert and his family can be found taking a vacation or off-road adventure. The Corbetts lead an active lifestyle, venturing to new places whenever possible. With Robert being a full-time wheelchair user, the family struggled to find a van to not only meet their mobility needs but to give them a sturdy vehicle that could keep up with their adventures.
That all changed when they saw the accessible Chevrolet Traverse.
“Over the last four years we’ve found that there’s little nuances we would change, or get something different, or customize it even more to fit our needs. That’s what led us to the Traverse. Initially, the ground clearance of the [old] van wasn’t as conducive to going to the national parks and going on the off-road adventures we like to go on,” Robert said.
He and his wife, Tiffany, both agree that the Traverse has given their family a new sense of independence. Robert, who uses a larger electric wheelchair, now has the space he needs to move freely in his SUV. Because of the larger cabin space, he says the Traverse has opened the door to the possibility that he can drive himself, something that was not conceivable in the family’s previous van.
“Driving wasn’t anything I thought of before but now it is, because in our previous van, my wheelchair was so big and I sat so high in the van that even if I wanted to feasibly drive, I couldn’t drive from this chair. But in the new van I could drive from this chair because it gives me a better line of sight, I’m more level with the road,” he said.
Check out this drone footage Robert shared with us of his Traverse:
For Tiffany, the independence the vehicle has given her husband is invaluable.
“I think people oftentimes miss the bigger picture, because they look at it from a monetary standpoint as opposed to ease of use, the availability, and the freedom it provides people,” Tiffany adds. “It’s provided us freedom. It’s provided him freedom to make the choice: who, what, when, where, why.”
Robert advises anyone thinking of purchasing their own accessible vehicle to take their time and try out as many different types of vans as they can.
“Try not to get overwhelmed with things initially. Take the time, do the research, find out what works for you, what works for your situation, your family’s situation, and the things you like to do, so your hobbies and your recreation. Make sure that you find a vehicle that fits that need and I think you’ll be happy,” he says.
A vehicle is more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. It can lead you to new adventures, undiscovered destinations, and irreplaceable moments with your loved ones. Reach out to MobilityWorks today to find out how we can get you on the road so that you can get back to pursuing your passions.
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