Wheels for Warriors

A wounded veteran is wheeled into his new van
A wounded veteran is wheeled into his new van
TAMPA (2009-06-12) -

Jose Pequeno nearly died four years ago, when a grenade explosion destroyed half of his brain during an ambush in Iraq. He was a National Guard sergeant from New Hampshire, taking a hiatus from his job as police chief of the small town of Sugar Hill.

He never went home.

Pequeno barely held on, traveling to three hospitals before settling in at Tampa's James A. Haley VA center for an extended recuperation. His family moved into a house in Land O'Lakes to be near his side. But the old van they bought doesn't cut it for a man who is 6-foot-2.

That's where "Wheels for Warriors" comes in.

Wheels for Warriors is a project of "Operation Support Our Troops." The non-profit group was founded by Mary Kay Salamone, a self-described "Army wife, mother and daughter" from Rhode Island. Pequeno is the 16th wounded veteran they have helped.

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