Legionnaire Daniel Holman lost his legs on active duty while serving in the U.S. Army in 1988. A motorcycle rider before his injuries, he never planned on giving up on his passion.
But he also knew it would be a challenge. Little things like taking his bike in for repairs at a motorcycle shop became harder.
“I wear only one prosthetic. I can’t wear one on the other side,” said Holman, a resident of Nevada but member of American Legion Post 69 in Albuquerque. “Imagine going from the service department at the Las Vegas (Harley-Davidson dealership) on one artificial leg over 900 to the customer waiting area, and then having to make that trip all the way back.
“On a good day it’s no problem. But say it’s extremely hot … or I happen to (sweat) a little bit more because of the heat – it’s hell. And you can take a chance of your leg being wobbly or possibly falling into one of the motorcycles on display.”
Not wanting others to deal with that situation is why Holman created his “Wheelcharrier” program, which he hopes will eventually result in putting a wheelchair in every Harley-Davidson dealership in the nation.
On his own he’s been off to a good start. Initially wanting to supply the wheelchairs into three Harley dealerships in Nevada, he’s placed wheelchairs in dealerships in Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. He’s also facilitated the Veterans Integration Center in Albuquerque, N.M., being provided with a motorized wheelchair and lift.
“Many handicap riders have no way of carrying a wheelchair with them on their motorcycle,” Holman said. “Crutches provide limited mobility and distance within a dealership. A wheelchair provided with each service department will provide a solution to a necessary need.”
Once people heard about his efforts, Holman said wheelchairs started being donated. Several were provided through a month-long team-building exercise at Barrick Gold Corp’s Goldstrike operation process division in Nevada.
Holman travels part of the way to each dealership riding his motorcycle and part of the way driving his truck pulling a trailer carrying the wheelchairs. He’s either rode or driven more than 2,000 miles to pick up and deliver wheelchairs. Others, including Legion Riders from Post 69, also are helping deliver the wheelchairs.
Holman is asking that any American Legion members decide to implement the program in their states use the name “Wheelcharrier” and also let him know whenever they provide a wheelchair at a dealership.
“It’s big enough now that I want to see every Harley-Davidson dealership in the United States doing it,” Holman said. “I am only one person. But with everyone in other states combined, this can be done.”
To contact Holman about bringing this program to your state, email him or call (702) 416-6396.