On June 26, American Legion Riders Chapter 138 hosted a AMBUCS Vet Bike (therapy cycle) presentation to Marine Corps veteran Shawn James. AMBUCS, a nonprofit 501(C)(3) corporation, donated the bike, which was designed and built with specifications of the therapy needs of Shawn James as provided by his medical team at James Haley VAMC.
Shawn attended the presentation with his wife, Tara. Shawn is originally from Logansport, a small farming community in northeast Indiana. He served in the Marine Corps from 2002-2007 as an aviation electronics technician, and served two tours in Iraq. Shawn was combat meritoriously promoted to corporal in 2005 during his first deployment, completing his service as a staff sergeant.
Shawn’s first tour was from August 2004 to March 2005, and the second was from February 2006 to August 2006. During his deployments he worked on most models of U.S. combat aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing. Shawn also served as force protection, perimeter patrol, convoy security and FOB resupply during his time in Iraq. He also served forward as aviation primary munitions support during the 2nd Battle of Fallujah in 2004. During both deployments, he was subject to multiple close-range blast exposures that resulted in multiple concussive traumatic brain injuries.
Since January of this year, Shawn has been receiving both inpatient and outpatient treatment for TBI, PTSD, clinical depression and chronic back pain at the James A. Haley VAMC in Tampa. Shawn is currently engaged in social and physical programs that promote community involvement and social reintegration. Shawn’s goal is to use the AMBUCS cycle to increase his physical strength and agility, balance and overall wellness.
As Shawn thanked the American Legion Riders and AMBUCS, his words which touched us immeasurably were: “Who better to understand a veteran than vets – we are all cut from the same fabric of America.”
Pic 1, L-R: 15th District Commander Jose Romeu, AMBUCS Vet Program Coordinator Gordon Brigman, Central Area Commander Eunice Butts, Tara James and Shawn James. Pic 2, L-R: 15th District Commander Jose Romeu, Past ALR 138 Director Chuck Scogin (he assembled the bike), ALR 138 Director Bill Sizemore and Shawn James.