Forty veterans whose limbs were taken from them by improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan are in San Diego looking to gain their independence again thanks to a non-profit program called Segs4Vets.
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The Segway is a two-wheeled, battery-powered device that moves forward or back according to the motion of the person riding it.
"For wounded veterans, it's the perfect device for those who have lost their mobility or have a difficult time walking around," said Jerry Kerr, the founder of Segs4Vets. "[It] lets them once again feel the wind in their face as if they were running again."
Segs4Vets started in 2005 with enough equipment for three wounded warriors. Now, there are presentations in three different cities where veterans who go through the two-day training class receive a Segway free of charge.
"This is a game changer," said Kyle Garcia, a wounded Marine. "When you have one prosthetic and one limb salvaged, walking is really hard."
Of the 40 veterans taking part in this years class, 25 are wounded Marines and Navy corpsmen who served with them.
Kevin Dubois, a double-amputee, is training with a new device called an alley chair. The alley chair is essentially a wheelchair top with a Segway bottom.
"The devices run about $8,000," said Kerr. The alley chair Dubois is using costs roughly $15,000."
The veterans will be presented with their new mobility devices in a ceremony on Wednesday aboard the Midway Museum.
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