Michael Delancey sat on Treasure Island looking at the water Saturday morning.
The cool breeze moved across his face; it was the perfect beach day.
It’s the type of day the paralyzed veteran hasn’t had in a while. Delancey was serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq when he was shot in the back in 2006.
"I have not been out on the sand comfortably in a long time,” Delancey said.
Saturday, he sat comfortably in his new wheelchair, designed specifically for the beach.
"That was one of the things before I got injured, I used to love being on the water and I miss it, it’s my home away from home and it hadn’t been worth the hassle so I have sort of stayed away,” Delancey said.
Mike’s manual wheelchair makes it very difficult to maneuver his way through the sand. The new chair has large rubber tires that make it easy for Delancey to zip across the sand. It also has a cup holder, extra storage space and headlights for night rides.
"Now I can enjoy the breeze, listen to the water, if I don’t like the spot I am in I can move no problem,” Delancey.
Delancey’s new freedom was made possible by fellow veteran Eric Wooten and his family. A friend, and former Marine, in Alabama makes the chairs and gives them to Wooten at a discounted price. Wooten raises the money to buy them for local wounded veterans.
This is the third chair Wooten and his family have donated.
"We could argue whether this is a necessity, but it is life changing for them,” Wooten said. “It gives them the beach back and it puts them on this side of the dunes which we all take for granted."
Now than he can move freely, Delancey said he now plans on going to the beach as much as he can.
For more information go to: www.beachnwheelchairs.com