Tuesday, June 18, 2013
This week, I had the opportunity to visit the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital right here in Tampa. I learned about the amazing things this hospital is doing for those who dedicated their lives to serving this country and was truly inspired.
While I was at the hospital, I met Davis Celestine. In 2001, Davis became a quadriplegic in a tragic accident during his Naval training that was preparing him to ship off to Afghanistan. After the severity of his injury became evident, Davis traveled to Tampa to seek the expertise of the doctors and therapists at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital.
Now, he serves as President of the Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America and twelve years later, he is still living in Tampa because our wheelchair friendly city makes his everyday life easier. This year, he will once again proudly compete in the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
Davis, like many other athlete veterans, wants to send a strong message: "People should not feel sorry for us. Even though we are in wheelchairs, we attain the same goals as those who aren't. Come see what these men and women are capable of and respect us for what we are: true athletes."
The Wheelchair Games are coming up soon, and they still need a lot of volunteers so bring your friends and family and let’s give our servicemen and women the successful event they deserve.
I’m honored to be joining Davis and other veterans during the Wheelchair games from July 13-18 and I hope you will too. Do you part and sign up to volunteer—even if it’s for one day, or all six. I know I’ll see you there.