So maybe it’s not as cool as a wheelchair accessible minivan, but we’re still pretty pumped for Jack Pierce, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who just won an accessible motorcycle (trike, to be exact). The new ride comes compliments of one of our dealers, MobilityWorks and Mobility Conquest.
The BraunAbility dealer co-sponsored the “Nominate Your Hero” contest last month and asked applicants to explain, via essay, why their hero deserved the trike. The winner was announced at midnight last Saturday during the 71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. The contest drew nominations from across the country, and a large crowd of bikers and supporters were on hand to applaud the winner.
There’s no disputing the veteran is deserving of recognition and the ride. A terrifying explosion on January 9, 2010 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan left the Marine a paraplegic. His vehicle was hit by an estimated two hundred pound IED. The bomb was command detonated, which meant the Taliban were specifically targeting his six-vehicle convoy. There were eight people in his vehicle, three crew and five passengers. Two didn’t survive the blast: BBC reporter Rupert J. Hamer and Armory Technician Mark A. Juarez were killed in the attack. All six others were all severely injured, including Pierce who was permanently paralyzed from the rib cage down.
Months of rehabilitation and a tremendous attitude have helped Jack move on. While he has a pick-up truck with a Bruno lift that he relies on for day-to-day transportation, there’s no doubt he’ll LOVE the new ride.
“We reached out to spinal cord injury groups, motorcycle clubs and other non-profit organizations to take part in nominating a deserving individual to win the bike,” said Bill Koeblitz, President and CEO of MobilityWorks. “We know we found a real hero in Jack Pierce.”
Congratulations to Jack, and thank you to MobilityWorks and Mobility Conquest for making it all possible! You can see more photos and learn more about the winner here.