Corona firefighters surprised a Vietnam War veteran with a new electric wheelchair Thursday after seeing him struggling to get around.
Horace Jackson, a decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Army Special Forces, is a paraplegic who lives alone, according to a Corona Fire Department news release. Occasionally, firefighters respond to his home for medical and public service calls,
Recently, firefighters noticed that the 74-year-old was having difficulty with his old wheelchair. They saw Jackson’s hands were bloodied and blistered from the broken wheelchair, which he’d had for years, the release said.
Jackson explained that the VA only provides veterans with a basic wheelchair, and funds for a replacement every two years, according to the Fire Department.
Firefighters were moved to action and decided to raise money through the agency’s benevolent fund to buy him a new wheelchair.
The fund “is money raised and donated by firefighters and given back to those in need in our community,” a statement from the Corona Firefighters Association explained.
They presented Jackson with his new and improved wheels on Thursday.
When asked where the first place he would go with it, a smiling Jackson told KTLA, “I guess a coffee shop. Starbucks.”