Country Star Toby Keith Surprises Disabled Marine Veteran With All-Terrain Wheelchair
Before Toby Keith took the stage for his concert in Pittsburgh, he presented a special gift to retired Marine Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh.
Toby Keith is continuing his mission of supporting veterans. At a concert in Pittsburgh, Penn. Keith presented Marine Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh with an expensive all-terrain wheelchair.
Rumbaugh is a veteran of both the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. In 2010, he lost both legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.
Last night was an amazing night presenting an all-terrain trackchair to Marine Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh in Pittsburgh, PA! We can’t say enough about @tobykeith and what he does for our Veterans and Service Members.
Brandon, we thank you again for your service and sacrifice! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/q1dCqPoA5i
— The Independence Fund (@IndyFund) September 29, 2019
Despite defying the odds as a double amputee and learning to walk again with prosthetics, there are still activities that are difficult for Rumbaugh to enjoy with his family.
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Walking over sand at the beach or navigating uneven terrain is still a difficult task when using prosthetics. And a typical wheelchair is not a reliable option for any outdoor activity not involving paved ground.
Rumbaugh explained in an interview that getting an all-terrain wheelchair would allow him to enjoy the outdoors more and be more active. Especially with his children and his daughter was born earlier this year.
All-terrain wheelchairs cost around $16,000.
The Independence Fund
The incredible mobility gift was presented by Toby Keith with the help of The Independence Fund.
The Fund’s focus is on “empowering our nation’s catastrophically wounded, injured, or ill Veterans to overcome physical, mental, and emotional wounds incurred in the line of duty.”
For his part, Rumbaugh gives back as much as he can. Since losing his legs, he’s now a business owner, motivational speaker, and board member of It’s About the Warrior Foundation.
In 2017, Rumbaugh wrote that the help he received from non-profit organizations committed to helping veterans was indispensable.
“At the end of the day, 99% of what I have accomplished after my injuries was possible because of other people who lent a helping hand, gave me advice, or were there when I needed someone,” he wrote. “This is how it should be for all veterans.”
Lessons from Vietnam
Rumbaugh also says Vietnam veterans are some of the most helpful and accommodating.
“What made my life so much easier is being constantly surrounded by Vietnam-era veterans,” he said. “I would have these men randomly show up at my house on a weekend, ask if they could come in and talk to me to offer any support I may need.”
Hopefully, what Vietnam veterans went through when they came home is never experienced again by American servicemen and women. And Vietnam veterans seem the most adamant that the lesson in mistreatment ends with them.
After presenting the wheelchair, Brandon Rumbaugh went on stage for Toby Keith’s performance of his song, “American Soldier.”
It’s not the first time Toby Keith has honored America’s heroes in this manner.
Last month in Kentucky, wounded Marine Corps veteran Chris Fleming received an all-terrain wheelchair at a Toby Keith concert.
The energy was AMAZING as we presented an all-terrain tracked wheelchair last night to Marine Corps Veteran, Chris Fleming, at a @TobyKeith concert in Kentucky!
— The Independence Fund (@IndyFund) August 17, 2019
What a great reminder that private citizens and non-profit groups are instrumental actors in getting veterans the help they need and deserve.