There are few people in this world who have given as much back to their community as Iraq War veteran Justin Anderson. After losing his leg in the war, the Bellevue, Nebraska man came home and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Being a true hero, Justin never gave up and he beat the cancer, but he wasn’t satisfied.
That’s when the disabled veteran decided to use his off-road wheelchair, which was donated by The Independence Fund, as more than just a way to get around. In 2015, Anderson outfitted the wheelchair with a snow blade, and, now, every winter for each snowfall, the local veteran uses his makeshift snow plow to clear snow from the sidewalks in his neighborhood.
“I don’t want kids or parents having to go through the snow and possibly trip or hurt themselves,” Anderson told WOWT 6 News in 2016. “I had a half-dozen people stop to take a picture because they hadn’t seen a chair like this before.”
“The chair has on-the-fly tilt so I can adjust the height of the blade as I push snow.”
Anderson says that he appreciates the support from his Bellevue neighbors, but their gratitude is just an added bonus. For the wounded war veteran, doing what he does in his modified wheelchair every winter is his duty.
“The community has supported me immensely with my struggles and tough times as I had a leg amputated and my fight with brain cancer. This is my way of giving back,” Anderson said.
“It’s very gratifying. It’s nice to know you’re appreciated. But even if I didn’t get any response from anyone — or nobody said ‘Thank You’ ? I’d still do it.”
Justin Anderson, like all vets, isn’t someone we should just remember on Veterans Day or during the winter season, but every day of the year. Thank you for your service, Justin!
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This post was originally published on October 17, 2019.