Veterans Helping Veterans: Yukon museum impacts paralyzed vets’ lives

Program provides wheelchairs, other needed medical equipment

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Yukon Veterans Museum President and founder Rick Cacini (left) and museum Treasurer Jerry Stafford (middle) help provide wheelchairs to U.S. military veterans through the Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Mid-America chapter. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

The Yukon Veterans Museum is making an impact in the lives of paralyzed veterans who often faces challenge when their medical equipment breaks down.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Mid-America (PVAMA) chapter has given away nine wheelchairs in the past eight months through the Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program.

“We have given walkers, canes and catheters as well,” said Scott Ellis, government relations director for the PVAMA chapter. “We service veterans all across Oklahoma and southern Kansas.”

Ellis serves on the Oklahoma Veterans Council with members of the Yukon Veterans Museum, 1010 W Main.

Museum officers have donated wheelchairs and other items to the PVAMA chapter to support this effort.

“This program we operate is only made possible by the generosity of people and groups like the Yukon Veterans Museum,” Ellis noted. “We are a non-profit veterans’ service organization and do not have the funds to purchase items for veterans in need.

“So, having the public provide us with reusable medical items is paramount to our success.”

The chapter has provided paralyzed veterans with wheelchairs and other medical equipment for more than 10 years.

“It is very important that we have these items available now,” Ellis explained. “Many veterans have items breaking down, and with COVID going on, it does complicate the process for them to get items repaired.”

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AT NO CHARGE

The PVAMA chapter ensures recipients are military veterans who have a medical need for the items they request.

“There is never any charge for the items we give to veterans,” Ellis emphasized.

The Yukon Veterans Museum is a member of the Oklahoma Veterans Council.

“We are veterans who help other veterans,” museum President/Curator Rick Cacini said. “We work with the elected officials of our state and country helping veterans get better. It was a pleasure to assist some of the paralyzed veterans who were in real need of assistance.

“We gave one power wheelchair and three manual wheelchairs to the Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program. We at the museum receives donations 365 days a year. It’s a pleasure to accept these items that we can pass on to veterans who are in dire need.”

Cacini, a Yukon City Council member, is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.

“I do this because this community helped my family while I was serving overseas for so many years,” he said. “I love Yukon.”