Arriving at distribution location with 20 Whirlwind Roughrider all-terrain wheelchairs in neighborhood with a huge population of disabled Iran/Iraq war vets.
First man arrives with worn-out wheelchair.
Used wheelchair - still operable but soon will need to be replaced.
Iraqi Army soldiers help man with wheelchair.
Iraqi Army soldiers with man and his new Whirlwind Roughrider wheelchair.
Iraqi Army soldiers and US Army Captain (82nd Airborne) unbox new wheelchairs in preparation for distribution to disabled Iraqis.
Iraqi Army soldiers and US Army Captain (82nd Airborne) help disabled Iraqi man into new Whirlwind Roughrider wheelchair.
Man places his hand to his chest as a gesture to say 'thank-you' for the new wheelchair!
Man with no legs pushed by his son.
Disabled Iraqi woman preparing to move to new wheelchair.
Disabled Iraqi woman seating in new Whirlwind Roughrider wheelchair.
Woman and family with her new wheelchair.
Most wheelchairs in operation in Iraq are of low quality, and are falling apart - like this one in the picture above.
Disabled men coming to claim a new Roughrider wheelchair made by Whirlwind International.
Unloading the Roughriders from the military transport vehicle.
Iraqi Army soldier smiles and gives a thumbs up!
This boy's parents brought him to us, hoping we could provide medical treatment. They said he has a condition where his bones are extremely fragile - in this picture they're showing us that his leg is broken, without any trauma to cause the break. There was nothing we could do, and a wheelchair would not help him.
CPT Amoroso helps Iraqi Army soldier unpack wheelchair.
Unpacking brand new wheelchairs for disabled people who need them bad!
Most of the recipients were veterans of the Iran/Iraq war, and many were missing one or both legs. The boy in the photo has scars from Chicken Pox on his neck, though he isn't sure.
The wheelchairs came ready ride, except for air in the tires. Thankfully, the military vehicles come
with built-in air compressors and hoses in case of flats when out on mission!
Son helping his father out of old wheelchair and into new!
Sons help their father into new wheelchair!
CPT Amoroso unwraps new wheelchair
The men formed an orderly line to have their wheelchairs replaced. We told them that whoever would give us their old wheelchairs first would receive a new wheelchair first.
Boys very curious as to seeing the Iraqi Army provide for the needs of their elders.
"Hmmm, that's about my size, bro!"
Man with sons and new wheelchair.
Disabled man with Iraqi Army soldiers and new wheelchair.
Crowding the front of the line in fear they will not get a replacement wheelchair.
A long, long wait.
CPT Amoroso lifts disabled girl off the ground and into her new wheelchair.
Girl happy with her new Roughrider wheelchair
Disabled boy who could not vertically stabilize himself needed a wheelchair. We requested he come back when we bring pediatric wheelchairs with straps to hold him up in the wheelchair safely.
Iran/Iraq war veteran missing his legs receives new wheelchair.
Iran/Iraq war veteran receives new wheelchair from Iraqi Army soldier.
More local boys
Iraq war veteran receives new wheelchair.
Iraqi man and boy receives new wheelchair.
Disabled lady receives new wheelchair.
Man arrives in beat up plastic garden chair wheelchair. The front wheels are missing, and half of the back of the seat is broken off.
Disabled Iraqi man watches as tires on his new wheelchair are aired up.
We didn't have to worry about trashing the boxes. Local boys gathered them up and took them away for us! In Iraq, everything can be a resource.
My picture with local boys and Iraqi Army soldiers. The kids were amazed to see a regular American civilian on ground who would talk to and show them new handshakes.
Once we had run out of wheelchairs to give away, disabled men showing up were given the opportunity to take the wheelchairs left behind by those who received new ones. Wheelchair recycling in action!
More showed up in broken plastic lawn chair wheelchairs.
Making the move!
Man with son and Iraqi Army soldiers in his new wheelchair
Out with the old, in with the new!
Disabled Iraqi boy and family with new wheelchair.
Broken wheelchair (broken chair, missing front wheels).
The neighborhood boys brought over their prized possession - a bicycle! In our standards, the bike would be ready for recycling, but in theirs, it was really cool to have.
I rode the bike around the truck a few times, as the boys chased me clapping their hands and chanting 'Mister, Mister!'.
All the boys wanted pictures with me. We played football (soccer) for about an hour until we had to leave. These kids are really poor, and were constantly asking for food, candy and money.
Twins or just best friends?