Local veteran gets new wheels


ROCHELLE – Thanks to a gift from Rochelle VFW 3878, a local veteran will no longer be limited to where he can and cannot go in his home and around town.

Bill Justice, a Vietnam War Veteran and member of Rochelle VFW Post 3878 who also lives in town, recently had his leg amputated due to health conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure during his time in the war. After the operation, the Rochelle VFW built Justice a metal ramp to get in and out of his house since he now uses a wheelchair. Until now, he had been using a push wheelchair and he was limited to how far and where he could go.

“We are giving Bill a Quantum electric wheel chair that gives him complete 360-degree motion and will allow him to go more places without needing help from anybody else,” Rochelle VFW Commander Bill Bumgarner said.

The chair originally belonged to the widowed wife of a veteran in Oregon who donated the wheelchair to Oregon VFW Post 8739 before she passed away. The only stipulation when donating the chair was that it be given to another veteran to use.

Once the Rochelle VFW heard the wheelchair had been donated to the VFW in Oregon, it reached out and acquired it for Justice. Bumgarner has known Justice for many years and knew this would be perfect since he had recently finished his operation.

“It feels great to help out other veterans in need because that is what we are all about,” Bumgarner said. “What we are here for is to help veterans and their families.”

Before receiving the electric wheelchair, Justice was able to get around his house by himself, but he was restricted to where else he could go without help from another person. The electric wheelchair has the power to go over many surfaces including concrete and grass, which will give Justice the freedom to roam wherever he wants whenever he wants.

“I am very grateful to receive this gift,” Justice said. “It will be very helpful to me when trying to get around places.”