North Texas

Veterans Group Provides Outdoor Capabilities to Wounded Vet

Marine Corporal Michael Fox Can Now Continue His Passion of Hunting and Fishing

As veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to come home, one charity wants to remind the public those veterans need our help now more than ever.

On Friday morning, the group Freedom Alliance gave an injured North Texas Marine some much needed help, thanks to generous donations.

At the Autobahn Motorcar Group's Jaguar show room in Fort Worth, Michael Fox, a retired Marine corporal, got to put his new ride to good use. It packs plenty of power and a joystick.

"Little joystick is all it needs," Fox said, as he gave it a test drive.

But the new electric wheelchair he was driving around the show room is more than a wheelchair and it's helping Fox in more ways than just getting around.

"It got me out and it changed my life," Fox sad in reference to a hunting trip a few years ago.

Hunting and fishing isn't easy though for someone with prosthetic legs. Fox lost both legs, as well as suffering injuries to his left arm, when an IED hit him while he was serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

But now, helping him get around is an Action Track-Chair, that features tank like tracks and treads as opposed to wheels. In fact, it's armed with a gun rack and a fishing pole holder which will get Fox back to the woods without much help.

"Therapy hunts, fishing trips, that was actually one of the first things that I did after I was injured and it really, really opened up my eyes to see what I can still do and not what I was limited to," Fox said.

Fox can walk pretty easily on his prosthetic legs, but not on his property in Rockwall County.

"Uneven terrain, slippery slopes, rocks, mud, it all presents a huge problem," he said. "Just on my property I can walk thought the mud, but it tries to pull my sockets off my legs."Making his outdoor life easier is the charity Freedom Alliance, which supports wounded troops

and their families, as well as provide scholarships, care packages and outdoor therapy activities.

"Being on a lake fishing being in the woods hunting, for this generation of veterans that is to them what the VFW halls were to previous generations of veterans," said Tom Kilgannon, president of Freedom Alliance.

Fox is the sixth veteran to receive a custom made track-chair, as it's fitted to his height, weight and needs. Six to eight more of them will be donated to veterans this year, all thanks to donations. Each chair costs between $15,000-$20,000.

"I know what this is going to do for me and I can appreciate what it's going to do for other veterans as well," Fox said.

It's a new tool that will keep Cpl. Fox and his fiancee Erica on the right track.

"All I need is a cooler mount and I'll be good," Fox said.

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