War on Terrorism

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wounded Warriors Get Custom Prosthetics Cases

By Judith Snyderman
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

April 27, 2010 - The maker of rugged Pelican cases, widely used in the military to protect weapons and computer gear, has launched a program to give custom cases for prosthetics to wounded warriors who have lost limbs. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the first cases at a ceremony today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

Pace, who serves as chairman of the board for Pelican Products, said the Pelican for Patriots program comes with no strings attached.

"We just want to be able to give to these great heroes," he said. "It's a small way of saying 'thank you' that will protect prosthetic arms and legs and make their lives a little better."

It is common for those who use prosthetics to have several, either as back-ups or for specific uses. Marine Corps 1st Lt. David Borden said he carries a number of activity-specific legs, and he's looking forward to using the case. Borden was injured in a suicide bomb-attack in Ramadi, Iraq. He has spent two years recovering at Walter Reed and plans to return to active duty within the next few months.

Retired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. John Jones, who lost both legs in Iraq in 2005, also received a case. Jones heads the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, which trains disabled veterans for jobs in the financial industry. He said his job makes him a frequent traveler, and he worries about breakage when checking his bags at airports.

Lyndon Faulkner, president and CEO of Pelican Products, said his main concern is getting the word out to eligible servicemembers and veterans. Anyone who sacrificed an arm or a leg since Sept. 11, 2001, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom qualifies to receive a free case. That includes nearly 1,000 people now, as well as "anyone, unfortunately who will become eligible in the future," Pace said.

Each case will be custom-fitted with protective foam.

"When we get the individual's prosthetic need," Pace explained, "we can design the inside of the case precisely to those measurements."

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