Tony Vilardo is an American veteran who loves boating.
Tony Vilardo said. “I always had a love for the outdoors. I would do anything outdoors.”
Serving our country as helicopter pilot for 15 years, his life changed in 2001. “I started using a wheelchair, oh goodness, about 8 years ago,” he said.
That’s when he thought his boating days were over. “Must boats you have to get down into the boat.”
But not the Warrior. It is completely handicap accessible. Each detail carefully thought out, from the storage compartments for a folded up wheel chair, to the electric anchors, made by people right here in the Wiregrass.
Outdoor Recreation Manager John Clancy said, “One of a kind is true, Joe Motors Service built this from scratch, it started off with a piece of aluminum.”
Paid for through Ft. Rucker’s Wounded Warriors Fall Hunt.
Clancy said, “The community purchased it, everybody that bought a ticket to support the wounded warriors they purchased it. So the surrounding communities bought the boat for their wounded soldiers...You tend to forget about some of the people that got injured and we really want to reach out to them. They fought for our country, they got injured and we want to give something back.”
Giving something back, to veterans like Tony, who have already given so much.
Vilardo said, “So life has changed a little bit, but get back a piece of normal that we once had you know.”
The outdoor rec department says the worst thing that could happen is the boat goes unused.
And wounded warriors and their families from across the country can come use it at no cost.
For more information on renting the boat any day of the week, free of charge call- 255-4305.