1st LT Larkin O`Hern, Wounded Warrior/triple amputee gets donated new truck!

(also posted on the Larkin thread on the Aggies Only forum - thanks dubi, but I thought this development deserved its own thread)

(pics below)

Sunday, December 4, 2011 4:15 PM, CST

Hello again,

I have let Rachel handle the Caring Bridge postings lately, mostly because she is such a good writer and I pale in comparison. But this post is very personal for me. For most of the last year I been living the life of 15 year- olds everywhere, so close to driving and yet still reliant on others for transportation. As I have recovered I have gone from depending on machines to eat and breathe, and on Rachel for everything else, to taking a few tentative steps on my own, no cane, no crutches. As satisfying as it has been to regain my independence it has frustrated me to no end to have to ask Rachel to cart me all over San Antonio. This frustration became even more acute as her internship began and I had to ask the Transportation office to step in. I am grateful to the wonderful drivers who waited when I was running late, helped me up and down the hill from our door to the sidewalk and carried legs and crutches into the garage for me. Still, everyday I looked forward to getting my driver's license a vehicle modified to accommodate my injuries.

Very early on in my recovery friends and relatives across Texas recognized this need and eagerly offered to help. Rachel and I were overwhelmed at first and everyone graciously waited for us to decide how we would face this challenge. We soon found the CFI section of the parking lot filled with pick up trucks with cranes in the bed. The first time I watched one of my fellow patients drive up and use the crane to drop his wheelchair beside the drivers side door, hop down into it and roll away, I was sold. He was able to drive himself and load and unload the chair with no trouble, and I decided then, that someday that was how I would be getting around.

Last month I re-earned my drivers licence with the help of the local VA Hospital. Having been introduced to driving with hand controls in the CFI simulator after a few lessons I was ready to head to the DMV and certify in a modified car. Even before I parallel parked between the poles like a nervous 16 year old Rachel and I, with the help of friends, family and many generous people we never met, ordered a a four door F-150 4X4. This weekend it came in and we saw it for the first time and tomorrow we will drop it off to be outfitted with the crane and hand control throttle. I can hardly wait to get behind the wheel for the first time, and am eager to start making those "mundane"trips to the grocery store and other errands as only a new driver can be.

It means the world to me to be back in charge of this aspect of my life. I cannot express my gratitude to the many people who came together to make this possible. Rachel and I have been extremely blessed and in no way more than by the people God has put in our lives. Thank you to all of you who have provided the love and support and prayer that have brought us to where we are today and continue to encourage us to get better everyday.

Thank you all,
Larkin and Rachel standing in front of his new truck, provided by donors

Larkin sitting in his new truck!
Ecoboost FX4.....
Totally awesome for Larkin to be driving now!!!
first ecoboost thread I like!
1) Good for him!

2) The mechanical and technological developments along this line are mind-blowing.

I've been looking at some of this stuff for my folks. They have some ramps now in mini-vans that retract under the van. When the ramps extend, the van kneels down on that side to make entry even easier.

I've also seen a pickup where the door does not hinge open, but moves straight out to the side. The driver rolls between the pickup and the now-open door, gets hoisted in, then the door shuts.

Amazing stuff.
Just after Larkin's injuries occurred - when Larkin was still in surgery at the combat hospitals in Afghanistan, Aggies, West Point grads and others started coming together to make sure this moment would eventually happen - Larkin would be getting his truck!

I'm very proud of everyone who rallied and donated so Larkin could have the smile on his face when he sat in his new truck!
That's awesome... and did you see the reflection of Santa in the 2nd picture?
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