Wounded Warrior Fundraiser Underway

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Josh Irvin (left), a salesman for Stateline Turf and Tractor of Olive Branch, Miss., shows off the Action Track Chair during the visit to Piggott last Thursday. Also pictured are, from left: John Phillips III, with the Northeast Arkansas Affiliate of the Wounded Warrior Project, local veteran Ed Thompson and Clay County Judge Gary Howell.

A fundraising campaign is currently underway by the Northeast Arkansas Affiliate of the Wounded Warrior Project, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the purchase of motorized off-road wheelchairs for use by area veterans. An affiliate committee is seeking to purchase one of the special chairs for each county in the region, and make it available through the Veteran's Services Centers.

Last week one of the Action Trackchairs was brought to Northeast Arkansas by the regional dealer, and was demonstrated at several locations for veterans and the media. The model on display was the company's ST22, a fully off-road wheelchair which utilizes rubber tracks and battery power. Decked out in full camouflage, the unit is capable of going through the woods or to the beach, and can maneuver in mud, sand or snow--even shallow water.

The Trackchairs are built by Action Manufacturing, based in Minnesota, and were originally constructed with mobility in the snow and ice in mind. As the company touts in their ads, "you'll go places you didn't think possible."

Accompanying the Trackchair was Josh Irvin, a sale representative for Stateline Turf and Tractor of Olive Branch, Miss., the regional dealer for the company. "The Trackchair was first developed in Minnesota with snow and ice in mind, but it really adapts well to mud and sand," he explained. "I've seen them run through fairly deep water without any problems, but we suggest you keep the water level below the tops of the batteries. There are few places it won't go--it's truly an all-terrain wheelchair."

Irvin noted the chairs were first developed with snowmobiles in mind, but are adaptable to all conditions. "There are some really good YouTube videos of people really putting them through the paces," he added.

Included in the regional tour was a visit Thursday, Dec. 5 to the Veteran's Services office in the courthouse in Piggott. On hand to explain the effort was John Phillips III, event coordinator for the NEARK affiliate of the Wounded Warrior Project. "We want to place one of these chairs in every one of the Vet Service Centers in Northeast Arkansas so as to enable those who have given so much of themselves for our liberty a new found freedom to enjoy the outdoors," he noted. "But, the cost of this equipment doesn't come cheap and we know it will take the generous donations of many to make our goal a reality--we need everyone's help to accomplish this goal and enable our wounded warriors to live a better life."

The Trackchair also made stops at KAIT-TV, and Veteran's Service Centers in Craighead, Lawrence, Greene and Randolph counties during the tour of the region. The chair was also scheduled to be demonstrated at a Wounded Warrior Project Duck Hunt and Banquet fundraiser set for this past weekend in Pocahontas.

The event was co-sponsored by the NEARK Affiliate of the Wounded Warrior Project and the Randolph County American Legion and VFW posts.

Those wanting more information on the Wounded Warrior Project, or on supporting the Trackchair fundraiser, may contact Phillips at 870 886-6689 or by email at jlphil@sbcglobal.net

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