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posted by BENJAMIN alias bbqben on Friday 6th of September 2019 12:36:35 AM

I stopped off at a strip shopping center and as I was walking through the parking lot I saw this man and a woman that caught my eye. The man was sitting on a riding lawnmower that had a wheelchair tied to the back. The woman was a fellow shopper and had stopped to give the man some assistance with his wheelchair. She pushed the wheelchair around to him and he got on it and wheeled himself to the store and the lady opened the door for him. I walked around the store waiting for my wife to do her shopping and I saw the man leaving through the check-out cashier and was going toward the door. So, I quickly went over and opened the door. I followed him out to see what he would do next. He reached his lawnmower and I went over and asked if I could assist him. He had already gotten off the wheelchair and was sitting on the lawnmower seat. His name is Robert. He was quite friendly and said I could straighten the wheelchair directly behind the mower so he could tie a rope to it, hooking it to the mower. I held it taut while he tied it to the mower. I saw that he had no legs! They were missing from about 4-5 inches below the hip. So, I continued talking with him and since he was so openly friendly, I asked if I could make a photo of him; I didn't have my camera and thought I would use my cellphone. He said sure! Then, I told him I wanted to retrieve my camera from my car. He smiled and said, "sure." So, he patiently waited while I got it. I told him about Flickr and the Human Family group and said that I wanted to post his picture and tell about what a success he is. He quickly agreed for me to do that. My first question was how he lost his legs or was he born that way. He said he had Gangrene in his right leg in 2011 and they had to amputate it, hoping to save the left leg. It didn't work and in 2012 he had to have the other one amputated. As a result of that, he said he lost his drivers license so had to resort to something for transportation (lawnmower). He then said that he is able to also use the lawnmower to work and mowed lawns for a job. He is getting medical care from the Veterans Administration (VA) and said they have been fantastic! He said he is considered 80% disabled and is hoping to get reclassified to 100% because there are extra benefits to be 100% disabled. I asked him if he had been in the Army. He said no; Navy. Of course my next question was what he did in the Navy. He had been assigned to an LCU which stands for Landing Craft Utility boat. It is a boat used to take equipment and supplies onto shore in waters that wouldn't be deep enough for a larger ship. I stood amazed at him during our entire conversation. He was upbeat and said he is in great shape because he has Christ in his life and is a very happy man. He is saving money in an attempt to get better transportation. I really didn't understand what he had in mind. Afterward, I thought of so many other questions I had, like getting prosthetic legs and some kind of assist that would enable him to be more mobile and perhaps drive again. I walked away in good spirits having just met with a man who has so much more than so many people and from most peoples standpoint, has almost nothing in life. BTW, he uses a stick to reach the starter. You may also see other interesting people photos and their stories at the following location:

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  • Published 08.12.22
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