VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A local veteran has a new way to enjoy time outside, even as Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis changes his life.
Friday, the Freedom Alliance donated a customized all-terrain wheelchair to Jarid Clapp. He earned the rank of Staff Sergeant during his military service.
Clapp was injured during a deployment in 2008 in Iraq. According to the Freedom Alliance, Clapp was injured when he was forced to jump from a high perch, atop a Medium Tactical Vehicle, to avoid a more dangerous situation. The landing caused a spinal injury. Clapp ultimately developed MS.
“MS is slowly making me a prisoner in my own body,” Clapp said.
Clapp enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family. The new wheelchair will help him continue to enjoy time outside. Clapp said receiving the wheelchair was like floating on a cloud – almost like winning the lottery.
“This is going to allow me to be the person I want to be, to where I can be out in nature. I can hunt and fish. I can still do the things I’ve always known as I was growing up and I can still be a person and not let MS define me,” Clapp said.
Tom Kilgannon, President of Freedom Alliance, presented Clapp with his chair.
“Jarid Clapp served our country, and we thank him,” said Kilgannon. “We hope this chair provides him comfort and the ability to once again enjoy the great outdoor activities he loves so much.”
The presentation happened at Griffin Bike Park in Vigo County. Clapp said he chose that location so he could try off-roading. The park has its own special service meaning. It’s in honor of U.S. Army Sergeant Dale Griffin, who died while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2009. The Griffins were on-hand for Friday’s presentation.