VAV presented donations to state and national vets’ groups
By The Advocate
U.S. Marine veteran James Crosby of Winthrop was given a special gift by local veterans at the Joseph Mottolo VFW Post in Revere on Sunday when Veterans Assisting Veterans (VAV) presented Crosby with a special all-terrain wheelchair.
After only a month of duty in Iraq while assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 (MALS 16) at Al Asad Airbase, 19-year-old James Crosby’s truck came under rocket attack and he was hit in the back by flying shrapnel, which pierced his intestines and spine. He was one of four Marines injured in the attack – one of whom died – but Pvt Crosby tells people he feels “like one of the lucky ones.”
Crosby stated that he was humbled by the gift of the $17,000 Trac-Chair, an Action Track wheelchair. The Trac-Chair will allow improved mobility through surfaces such as sand and snow, giving recipients the ability to go just about anywhere.
House Speaker Rep. Bob DeLeo, who was in attendance along with state and local officials and many area veterans, applauded the work of the veterans group and the sacrifice of life and limb of our service men and woman.
VAV President Dennis Moschella, a Vietnam veteran, stated that the Trac-Chair will allow Crosby to get some of his life back – a return to some sense of normalcy – and the VAV was proud to be part of that.
“How do you pay a guy like that back?” said Moschella. “We need these guys and girls … we’re there for them. We need to carry over what we are doing so future veterans will continue to be taken care of.”
Crosby is a former state veterans’ service coordinator who is currently studying for a career in construction management. The Trac-Chair, the latest in wheelchair technology, will be essential to his new mobility in the field.
In addition to the Action Track wheelchair for Pvt. Crosby, proceeds will go to help fund four grassroots veterans’ organizations including: Operation Thank You: whose volunteers visit veterans in nursing and veterans’ homes with food, gifts, and companionship; Ironstone Farm Equine Encounters Program for Veterans: which successfully treats homeless combat veterans with PTSD and other mental problems from war; American Veterans with Brain Injuries (AVBI): which provides support to the families of American Service members and Veterans who have suffered brain injuries; and the American Widow Project: which helps military widows rebuild their lives.