NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WKBN) – A surprise that will change a veteran’s life forever. That’s what happened Wednesday in New Wilmington.
James Silcox was surprised with a new Trac wheelchair. It’s something he’s been wanting for about two years. He is a Navy veteran who served for more than 20 years and then was medically retired because of an autoimmune disease that left him wheelchair-bound.
Through the Wounded Warrior Project and Trac Fabrication, a couple with no relation to the Silcox Family was able to gift the veteran.
“A lot of veterans need help and coming from the military, I hate to say it but a lot of times when they’re done with you, you know, they’re kind of done with you,” said Mike Christoff.
Mike and Colleen Christoff, a veteran family themselves, saw a Trac wheelchair in action on a fishing trip a few years back. They felt it in their hearts to give this life-changing gift to someone local.
“They’re amazing. Veterans always help out veterans. It’s a really special connection. And the freedom it will be able to provide family is amazing,” said James’s wife Alicia Silcox.
James’s son Luke Silcox said there is a lot you can do with the new chair.
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“He can come fishing with me. He can come to the beach with us. We can have adventures together,” he said.
The chair Silcox is in now can only drive on hard surfaces such as cement. The new chair is tailored to all of his needs.
“They actually modify to put his equipment in the back, so they can completely customize the chair, which is awesome,” said Colleen Christoff.
Trac Fab ships all over the world, but they were able to get a first-hand look locally at how their wheelchairs can help somebody in need. It’s not only just physically getting him there, but it’s like a mental health improvement for Silcox and anybody in his family circle.
Silcox will now get to watch his daughter horseback ride, which is something he hasn’t been able to do.
The Christoffs hope this story will inspire others to pay it forward.