Group helps wounded warriors regain their independence

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – Marine Corporal Tyler Huffman was hit by a sniper`s bullet and left paralyzed while serving in Afghanistan. Now he drives his own truck thanks to a group that helps injured veterans.

Wounded Warrior Family Support teamed with the Elks Lodge in Blue Springs for a veteran support breakfast on Saturday.

Huffman was hit by sniper’s bullet while serving in southern Afghanistan with the Marine Corps.

“It went right through under my arm, through my vest, hit my lung, liver, out through my lower spine and left me paralyzed from the waist down," Huffman told FOX 4's Megan Dillard. "It’s like totally learning how to relive all over again.”

Even though he can’t use his legs, he now drives his own pickup truck.

“The seat turns and comes out, I have the hand controls, I use it to get around totally on my own,” said Huffman.

Jim Dorian works with Wounded Warriors Family Support but his time and efforts are personal.

“You’re doing a lot of healing for these wounded warriors," said Dorian. "The military has given so much to us and those have been wounded in combat, it just affects me.”

Dorian showed a modified Ford truck equipped with seating and hand controls. Two of modified vehicles are on tour with the “Mobility is Freedom 2015 High Five Tour” and were on display at Saturday’s breakfast.

“You and I take for granted that we can go from point A to point B," said Dorian. "These fellows have basically got a barrier, and it could be the automobile.”

The group’s goal with this summer’s tour is to raise $1 million to equip 100 of these trucks and SUVs for wounded combat veterans.

People enjoyed breakfast, made donations, and left well-wishes in silver sharpie on the prototypes that will eventually get auctioned off; show of support and strength to say thank you to those who let us proudly fly the colors of freedom.

“Everybody has a soft spot," said Dorian. "Everybody knows a veteran in life, somebody in their family has served or they’ve served.”

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