I am a veteran and incomplete quadriplegic. Last month, I received an iBot wheelchair from the Independence Corps. Game-changer? No... a life-changer! Thanks to the Independence Corps, I am no longer constrained to travelling the paved path, and I can greet adults at eye level once again. I would like to particularly acknowledge their chairman, Gary Lawson, who has been so kind . His dedication to the cause of veterans is much appreciated!
There are times when you meet people who you know will change the world just by being themselves. Some of those people created Independence Corps. Their mission is to serve...truly serve. There isn't fanfare or public spotlight but, instead, they are quietly, and diligently, working to see that each wounded or ill veteran gets the support that they so desperately need. They get it done and they don’t expect public recognition, validation or appreciation. They don’t ask for anything, other than donations from the plublic, so that they can continue to help the veterans that they serve.
Personally, I know Luker very well. He and I poured countless hours, and much of our hearts, into a different nonprofit that he founded years ago. If there is one person that I can say has a heart for our wounded/ill/injured veterans of any era, it’s that guy. His passion oozes out of him. Not being able to help a veteran in need will eat at him until he finds a way to make it happen. Making sure that his brothers and sisters in arms get what they need, be it physical or mental, is personal to him…very personal. It isn’t just a “job”; it’s his life. Our veterans aren’t nameless numbers. They are people, his people…his family. I have spoken with Gary numerous times and I can tell that he has the same mentality when it comes to helping veterans. This is a good group of people.
We had a suicide I, the family I f a marine that served 30 yrs. Needless to say its an unimaginable event. This chairity helped us transition greatly
Independence Corps is a class act organization. They have selflessly donated to our cause to help out local Veterans in NJ & PA. Luker found out about an event we were doing to raise money for our local Veterans and families, and with no hesitation, wanted to help. I'm grateful for men and women associated with Independence Corps and all they do. It's networking within the Veteran community that really makes a difference and Independence Corps is a prime example of an organization who does just that.
We were honored to attend a Spartan Warrior Weekend a couple years ago and had the most wonderful experience. The weekend was very organized, yet allowing time to 'chill' and talk with like minded veterans. Next weekend, we are excited to go again and this time take a fellow Purple Heart VN war veteran and his wife with us. The Vendor event was so educational, as we got to see some of 'what is out there' for wounded warriors. It was so touching to see a fellow veteran be the recipient of an All Terrain powered chair! This makes a World of Difference for us Vets, as we can once again get off the sidewalk and out into the world we once knew and enjoyed! Independence Corps is a Super Non-profit that we continue to support financially, in a small way, each month.
The Independence Corps helped provide my disabled husband and veteran with a beautiful track chair that helps him regain his outside independence and love for everything outside during multiple surgeries that limit his physical abilities. This track chair also helps mentally allowing him to focus on his surroundings and enjoying the moments instead of focusing on the things he can’t do.
A true blessing.
We were given a grant to use for our upcoming event. They were very easy to work with and very supportive of our cause.
We were first introduced to Warfighter Hemp through a veteran's magazine. After reviewing their website and talking with Steve at Warfighter Hemp, we were excited to work with them. As director of Lest We Forget our Vets (and a combat Viet Nam Navy vet) we felt their mission fit with ours. We provide therapeutic tricycles to vets for rehabilitation and also work with senior vets. The grant process was simple and straight-forward. We very much appreciate the help provided to us through the Warfighter Grant.
Love these guys. They have helped countless severely injured Veterans regain a sense of independence via their efforts.
I have known the founders of the independence Corp since 2003 when they first starting supporting newly injured service members. They were supporting service members well before they formed the non-profit. This is a wonderful group of veterans that support other veterans.
I have attended multiple events where they donated track chairs to the disabled veterans that use them for yard work, hunting trips, fishing trips, etc.
I have attended events where they focus on emotional support to help prevent suicides.
These are veterans who know no bounds to support of service members. Wherever there is a need, they are willing to jump in and help.
I can not say enough wonderful things about this organization and the people who are part of it. They have supported other non-profits wherever they are needed and capable of helping.
I run a group that provides free therapy gardens and two day trauma workshops for veterans and first responders. The independence Corps has provided with with multiple support opportunity to increase our ability to effectively provide our services to our nation's Heroes at no cost to them so that they can focus on healing and learning healthy coping mechanisms for PTSD. We couldn't do what we do without the independence Corps support of our mission.
We are a non-profit ourselves, Wheelchairs for Warriors, and they generously donated to us. They said they were going to, and they kept their promise! We are forever grateful!
It is wonderful to partner with an organization that is meeting the needs of wounded and injured Veterans where they need it the most. This organization understands the importance of peer to peer relationships, and providing activities for Veterans to participate in. As a Non Profit founder, aligning with others who have the same interest and efforts is true collaboration. This organization was founded and shaped by Veterans, for Veterans!
We have had the privilege of working with the Independence Corps since their initial events/retreats and were impressed by their focus on peer-support, relationship building activities and focus on making sure all veterans and caregivers felt included and supported. They understand the importance of peer-support, outdoor activities and outreach to prevent veterans’ suicide and to provide a strong support system!
Independence Corps has given me a chance to be myself with the support of myself and my warrior! Time and time again this organization has shown family and loyalty to the families that they take such great pride in helping! I can't thank them enough!
Great leadership is paramount for any charitable organization. I served on the board of Snowball Express with Gary Lawson for four years. Gary is the Reay deal.
What Independence Corps does for our veterans is impossible to measure. They help wounded vets regain mobility through iBots. Also work in the needed area of suicide prevention for Vets.
This is a very worthy nonprofit.
I have had nothing but great experiences with this organization. When a Veteran, First Responder or caregiver puts out a call to action. Independence Corps/Spartan Alliance steps up. I have seen this many times. They are top notch. Seeing an organization that is 100% volunteer is rare. They work tirelessly, day and night. Thank you Independence Corps for stepping up for all eras of our military
I've had the pleasure of working with Independence Corps for the last several months, with a focus of getting iBOT mobility sytems to the veterans than need them. Their commitment is clear, and so is their expertise. This is an organization with both its heart and its head in the right place. And it shows in the difference they make in vets lives. Keep up the great work!
I am absolutely fascinated by the comradery of those who serve our nation. I'm absolutely amazed by the group of people that try, even in the smallest way, to repay the debt to those that have paid so much on our behalf. To see groups such as Independence Corps work so hard to try and improve life for those that need it the most is phenomenal. I was present at American Airlines Skyball when the Luke Arm was presented to an Army Vet. The place erupted in excitement. There are no words to describe seeing the impact that the arm made on one individual. With this technology the possibilities are endless.
One of the qualities I personally value is when someone (or group) is truly genuine about their passion. It is very easy to say that the entire Independence Corp Team meets that standard.
I attended one of the events in Mississippi last October. I was blwn away by the care and love. I really felt like I got the welcome home, i never got when I came back from Vietnam. We stayed at the scarlet pearl, it was so nice. Thank you spartan alliance
My husband is a veteran with PTSD and we are so lucky to have been introduced to the Spartan Alliance. He got the opportunity to attend the 2017 Spartan weekend in MS and it was life changing for him. The support system and care that independence corps gives to veterans is amazing.
I was first introduced to Startan Alliance in 2017 . It was a healing weekend for me on multiple levels . I’m very proud to be a part of this team and it’s mission to save veterans . Keep up the great work !!
This nonprofit stepped in when my Veteran was having a lot of issues with mobility. I cant thank them enough.
What an amazing organization and story that should be told about Huey 091 taking care of our military through thick and thin. Huey 091 has provided 25 iBot wheelchairs to military veterans in dire need of such advanced technology to improve their quality of life. You will be amazed at the tireless effort these volunteers contribute to ensure that our military servicemen and women are well taken care of. It is the highest honor to be associated with such a distinct group of individuals. This type of work makes you proud to be an American. My hat goes off to all the individuals that are associated with Huey 091. God bless you all.
There exists a medical device called an iBot, and it was manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The iBot allows disabled people to navigate difficult terrain in four-wheel-drive mode, be at eye level with standing individuals in balance mode, and even climb stairs in stairclimbing mode. I purchased one of these $26,000 wheelchairs myself. Soon afterward, in 2008, the manufacturer indicated that they were ceasing sales and production. Without Medicare willing to reimburse patients for these devices, they simply couldn’t sell enough of them to cover their costs. This is when I came to know the America’s Huey 091 Foundation.
Huey 091 had already purchased 25 of these units and donated them to disabled veterans, and they wanted to keep providing this service. Huey 091 took the lead role in trying to resurrect the iBot manufacturing and sales program. Through their tireless work, we are getting closer to making iBot wheelchairs once again available to veterans and civilians alike. The team at Huey 091 has a relentless work ethic and a heart of gold. I know they will it succeed, and I’ll do everything I can to help them. They are a great nonprofit!
If I may, I'd like to tell y'all a story about a true American Icon.
The history of this Icon is a long and storied one that begins back in 1965 when her service to the nation began. Manufactured as a UH-1D with tail number 65-10091, she was purchased by the Army in August of 1966. This aircraft was built as a machine of War and by September of the same year, she went on to do what was asked of her. Much like many of your Father's, Son's, and other loved ones during that period of history, 091 was in Vietnam, as part of the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company, " the Robinhoods" and crewed by Ed Walsh. It was there that she became known as "091" because that's how we refer to an aircraft, using the last three of the serial number on the tailboom, kind of like a last name.
Her last combat mission ended poorly as she was totally destroyed in a crash brought about by enemy fire. Unlike those that were killed in action (KIA) or very seriously injured and retired, this aircraft was fixed up and restored to her original fighting condition and allowed to continue her service to the nation.
091 like so many of us, moved on to different duty stations around the world. Units across the U.S. such as Ft. Sill, Ft. Stewart and then Ft. Rucker Alabama, the Aviation School for the U.S. Army. Late 1971 found her in the National Guard, then in September of '73 she was off for Germany.
While in Germany during 1974, she was crewed by Randy Perkins. She served with the 24th Engineering Group. HHQ at Sembach Air Base. She was mainly used to ferry VIP's. She has been upgraded to a UH-1H model by then and was freshly refurbished".
Now it was on to NASA and finally after 30 years she was retired to Ft. Rucker, Alabama and finished up a wonderful career, or so we thought!
The next chapter was with a small aviation museum at Meacham Field in Ft Worth, Texas not far from where everything started. The owners of the "Texas Air Command" museum purchased 091 and then flew her all the way from Ft Rucker to Fort Worth. They restored her as best they could with their limited resources and she was still very airworthy.
The FAA gave their blessings and she would go out once in a while and visit with her old Veteran friends, their children and any others that wanted to see, touch, or listen to history as it was talked about under her blades. There were Veteran's Day Parades, Memorial Day Fly over's, Fourth of July celebrations and numerous schools to visit plus her display duty at the museum.
This sort of service did not go unnoticed and so in 2002 Huey 091 was tasked to take on a leading role in a documentary film with and for the very people she had taken into and medevaced out of combat 34 years earlier. She gave an Academy award performance in the category of BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MACHINE. 091 became a rally point and a powerful healer of many Veterans and even their families as she finally allowed people to receive some type of closure to an unhealed wound, feelings of guilt of a story never told.
That was surely the last chapter, but the Nation called one more time. Now it was time to make that "Final Journey Home". Home would be at the National Museum of American History at 14th and Constitution Ave in Washington D.C.
091 was to make a 42 day trip around the nation, part of which would require an old friend from the USAF Reserve a C5 Galaxy Transport airplane, tail #171. She too was on her way to a museum.
The last chapter is still being written because 091 is still serving as she sits on the third floor of the Smithsonian's "Behring Center" in the "Museum of American History" as the largest artifact in the 'Price of Freedom, Americans at War" exhibit. She will continue to educate the world on what the Price of Freedom really costs and how Americans have responded in a time of War.
Visit www.americashuey091.com or www.huey091foundation.org for many more stories and photos of 091's journey.