Nels Larsen Shares His Trac Fab Testimony

Veteran Testimony: Nels Larsen

At Defender Mobility, we are determined to change the future of our disabled veterans – the ones who served with bravery, honor, and silently returned home to live peacefully with their families. Our sights are set on giving our nation’s heroes back their freedom, as they have selflessly protected ours, one chair at a time. We recently received a story about the impact of this chair in one veteran’s life, Nels “Skeeter” Larsen. Read this veteran testimony:

Just sitting here this morning looking out the window of my camp, north of Kaleva, MI. One of the thoughts was how being here all really came about. I am not a very good storyteller, but I am going to try.

Several years ago, Agent Orange from Vietnam started working on me. My heart was the first thing that gave me trouble from several stents then a triple bypass. It changed my life. I couldn’t do a lot of the things I used to do. It took hunting out of the picture for one. Being in the outdoors was my life. I couldn’t walk very far; many things I loved went by the wayside. All of a sudden, the guys and gals with the Drew Foundation befriended me. They took me turkey, pheasant, and deer hunting. Wow, I was in the outdoors again! My life changed from sitting around doing nothing to getting back doing the things that I loved. Then another change happened.

Veteran Testimony | Image of Nels Larsen in TracFab chair in 2013
Vietnam Veteran Nels Larsen in his new TracFab chair, August 2013
A guy by the name of Jim Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan, and members of the Drew Foundation presented me with an Action Track Chair. Wow, I could now get to places in the woods to hunt and do other things I loved to do again. The chair really changed my life. Then Agent Orange got me again. This time, it was Prostate Cancer. The University of Michigan removed that.

With that gone, I was a new man but for only 5 years. Yup, it came back but now spread to the spine in several places. Chemotherapy and radiation damaged the nerves in my legs from above the knees down to feet. Walking with two canes is pretty difficult, but I do it. With my Action Track chair, I am still able to do many things with the Drew Foundation and on my own. No problem getting from A to B. In fact, I was able to buy my own place to hunt. Then something else was going on. I was put in the hospital and was very, very sick again.

I honestly was positive that I wasn’t going to make it. I was sure Jesus had plans for me and it wasn’t on this Earth. The Crooked Foot Pheasant Preserve and the Drew Foundation jumped in and told me I was picked to go on a trip of a lifetime to Elk hunt in Colorado. In fact, my son Nels Jr. and Ed Humpert were going as well. We were gone for a week hunting. This was truly a hunt of a lifetime. I was able to shoot a huge 6×6.

I would like to thank everyone from the Drew Foundation for the support they and their sponsors have given me. Thank you also goes to the many landowners that allow us to hunt on their land. I didn’t mention names because I was afraid I would leave someone out. I appreciate and love each and every one of you. You have for sure gone over the top for me.

Nels Larsen
Vietnam veteran, 1968 – 1970

If you would like to help additional veterans receive their freedom back, please consider donating online. If you or know someone who would like to submit a veteran testimony, please contact us!


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