By veterans, for veterans: Inventor building solar-charged wheelchairs in Richland - Featured on KEPR TV
RICHLAND, Wash. — A Tri-Cities Navy veteran-turned-inventor says he's building the world's best power-wheelchair in Richland, and he wants veterans to know they might be able to get it for free through the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA).
After breaking his back and learning to walk again, Kurt Schneider invented the electric wheelchair he calls the Liberator for folks in the same boat.
A retractable solar panel canopy blocks the sun while using its rays to eliminate a common fear, getting stranded by a dead battery.
He says the locally built chair is restoring many freedoms veterans fought for but eventually lost to disability.
"Freedom to go outside of their home, freedom to go enjoy their life," Schneider said. "Freedom like we take for granted every day because we're able to walk and get around and do stuff. I don't think that's fair, I don't think that's right, I think it's Un-American."
Schneider says his chair is fully-covered through the state's community first choice program, and wants to remind veterans that in spite of recent scandals the VA is there to serve them and they shouldn't be afraid to ask for help.
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