June 2011. United States Army Specialist Fidel B. was serving in Afghanistan as an Infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Fidel was injured in action by enemy forces, resulting in the loss of both legs and other polytraumatic conditions.

Fidel B. and his family.

Draper® is proud to join fabric weaver Mermet USA to help return a sense of independence and mobility outdoors and in nature to Fidel through the gift of an all-terrain track chair.

The ATV chair will be provided by the Independence Fund, a non-profit organization which provides services to support the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual independence of service members, combat Veterans, their caregivers, families, and allies who served in combat alongside American troops. Each chair costs $20,000.

This is the third Independence Fund project in which Draper has joined Mermet USA. Last year’s recipient was Sue Downes, a mother of two who was catastrophically injured while serving in Afghanistan, including the loss of both of her legs.

“I’ll have more confidence going out and doing yard work,” said Downes after receiving her new track chair. “I can just go out there right up to my rose bushes and plant around them or dig around them, water them. Things like that—just little things.”

“I’m very happy and grateful,” said Frankie Davis, one of two Veterans who received an ATV chair from Mermet, Draper, and other partners in 2020. He said it has allowed him to be able to do things he loves but had been unable to participate in due to his injuries.

“It allows me to go to the mountains, and to the beach, hunting, fishing.”

Fidel’s chair will be presented to him in early November. If you would like to join Draper and our employees in this opportunity to help improve a veteran’s quality of life, click here to donate. If you would like to learn more about the Independence Fund and perhaps support its other initiatives, click here.