A disabled Vietnam vet recently received a $12,000 all-terrain wheelchair as a suprise gift--a device that will let him hunt and fish again.
According to the Daily Mail, Nels Larsen is one of three disabled veterans to receive one of the expensive wheelchairs from the Police Officers Association of Michigan. Larsen was left with several health issues after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970.
Jim Tignanelli, president of the police officer's union, said one of the reasons they selected to give a chair to Larsen was because of what he continues to do for veterans.
"[Larsen is] just a very giving guy that nobody has ever given anything," Tignanelli told MLive.com. "We really came across a guy that we can change his life, and I think he has done that for a lot of people."
Among other acts, Larsen founded Walleyes for Warriors, a fishing tournament for those returning from combat. But in recent years, Larsen's back troubles and other ailments forced him to walk with a cane and prevented him from hunting or fishing. The all-terrain chair should help him return to the woods and water.
What made the moment more special was that the gift was a total surprise. A group of friends (who call him 'Skeeter') gathered with the Midland Police Department honor guard in the parking lot of a restaurant on Aug. 23 to surprise Larsen with a folded flag and his new ride, which maneuvers on tank-like tracks, and comes with a cup and fishing rod holder.
"I couldn't figure out what was going on," Larsen said. "Then I saw 'Skeeter' on the back of that chair."
When asked what his first trip would be with his new chair, Larsen answered, "I'm going deer hunting. I'm really thankful, I'll tell you that."