Group looks to mobilize veteran for the great outdoors

By Celsy Martindale

April 13, 2014 Updated Apr 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM CDT

LEWISTOWN, Ill. -- There are more than 22 million veterans nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 800,000 are right here in Illinois.

Now one group of veterans is trying to help their fellow comrades, one chair at a time.

A group of veterans from Lewistown have raised the money, bought the chair, and are now looking for someone to fill it.

But not just anyone. they're looking for a veteran who loves the outdoors.

"This could offer them a return of mobility to pursue the kinds of outdoor activities that they once enjoyed." said John Ball, VFW trustee.

The action track chair is designed to handle rough terrain, holds guns, and fishing poles.

The search for the perfect candidate hasn't been easy, but knowing they could possibly change the life of a fellow veteran is keeping their hope alive.

"For a wounded soldier who maybe had worries that they'd never be able to get out and do anything, and have means to do so, I think it's great and it'd change somebody's life," said Cassie Smith, VFW surgeon.

The VFW is already planning what the future might hold for this chair and its soon-to-be owner.

"There have been several people in this local area who've mentioned, 'hey if we find somebody, we can put together some hunting trips, fishing trips, situations like that," said Jared Mathis, VFW senior vice commander.

A love for the outdoors is giving these veterans a reason to give back.

If you know of a fitting candidate, who loves the outdoors, you can contact the Lewistown VFW at 309-547-8171 and ask for Terry Pigg.

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