Local Veteran Receives New Handicap-Accessible Vehicle

Veteran Gary Wilkins with his new handicap-accessible vehicle.

(ROYSE CITY, TX — November 28, 2018) On Thanksgiving week, local veteran Gary Wilkins received the blessing of his life in the form of a new handicap-accessible vehicle.

Wilkins, a member of Royse City American Legion Post 100, nearly lost his life in a tragic motorcycle accident a few years ago. The accident left Wilkins with a shattered left leg, broken wrists and a ruptured spleen. A year and a half later, he developed a major infection in his injured knee which required an amputation.

For the past two years, Post 100 worked tirelessly to get the VA to fund the handicap-accessible vehicle for Wilkins. Once Wilkins purchased the vehicle, a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, the VA granted a majority of the funding needed to make modifications to the vehicle in order for Wilkins to be able to drive it. Post 100 then set up a GoFundMe account to raise the rest of the funds needed to cover the modifications. Thanks to the support of the community, they raised $2,300 through the GoFundMe.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, Post 100 presented Wilkins with his new ride and a $300 check to help cover expenses such as insurance and gas.

Gary Wilkins sits behind the wheel of his new handicap-accessible vehicle.

Gary Wilkins rides up the ramp on his new wheelchair-assisted vehicle.

Gary Wilkins locks his wheelchair in place inside his new handicap-accessible vehicle.

Post 100 Adjutant Jason Castleberry said the moment was a culmination of the hard-fought effort to lend a helping hand to one of their own.

“Hundreds of hours of effort have gone into this,” Castleberry said. “To finally see it happen for Gary, it means the world to us. We are genuinely happy for Gary and his newfound freedom of mobility.”

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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