Looking for a little inspiration today after a long weekend of snow? Take a look at the following video by WOWT 6 News.
Justin Anderson graduated from Bellevue West High School, Bellevue, Nebraska in 2002. Bellevue is about 8 miles south of Omaha and is considered part of the Omaha metro area. In 2003, Justin suffered a combat injury serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army. The injury cost Justin his leg.
Justin has an attitude of service that has extended from the Iraq war into his hometown community. It’s obvious Justin appreciates the support he’s received from his community upon his return from combat. Now, he’s made it a priority to help wherever he can.
Community Service On A Customized Snow Plow Wheelchair
One way Justin has been able to serve his community is through his ‘tinkering’. Justin received an off-road wheelchair from The Independence Fund after he got back from Iraq. Justin took his mechanical know-how and turned his chair into a hybrid tank/skid-steer that makes snow removal more manageable. Now, he’s able to blade the sidewalks in the neighborhood so that students, walking to Two Springs Elementary, have a safer route. Something that would take many people several hours with snow shovels, takes him a couple hours to complete.
The chair, as mentioned, is off-road, complete with tracks instead of wheels. The blade has an on-the-fly tilt that allows him to adjust the height as he’s pushing snow. This thing is over-the-top cool and a serious contender for the Custom Snow Plow Hall of Fame, if there is indeed something like that.
Facing Down Challenges
Justin has faced some serious challenges since his return from Iraq. The gun shot wound and shrapnel that required the removal of his left leg above the knee, has only been part of it. In 2013, Justin was diagnosed with Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a rare form of brain cancer. Now, he’s in a battle for his life.
Despite these challenges, he’s dedicated to helping other vets face down their challenges too.
“I really do hope that it (this story) reaches some other veterans and makes them realize that there is a way when they think there may not be…a way to get things done”.
Justin didn’t expect all of the attention, he was doing what came natural to him…community service.
“I certainly did not expect all of the national attention. However, I am grateful to be able to have it known that I’m giving back to my community that has supported me so well through my tough times and also find it very gratifying trying to inspire other veterans to never let anything hold them back”!
Well said, Justin!
It’s nice to see people like Justin out there bringing a little bit of sunshine and a glimmer of hope to an otherwise cold and dreary winter.
If you’d like to team up with Justin in his efforts to cover his health care expenses, please visit his gofundme page and contribute and/or pass this story along.
Brent Jarvis for SnowPlowNews