Message from the President of NAF
This past April, I was elected President of the National Amputation Foundation. I have been part of this organization for over 35 years and am proud that the membership has afforded me this honor.
I was 19 years old when I lost my right arm in Vietnam.
I had been in-country for 10 months with the 3/5 Armored Calvary serving as the company medic, when we were ambushed by enemy fire. I was hit by an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) and along with the loss of my dominant arm, suffered severe injuries to my right side.
I spent 8 months at Valley Forge Hospital in PA before I was well enough to be discharged. Learning to use one hand on tasks meant for two was a real challenge. Simple everyday things like tying my shoes or operating an electric can opener, presented their own unique problems to overcome. But the biggest struggle for me, was retraining myself to become left handed, and learning to write.
Here at the Foundation, I found support, information and understanding. The members of our Executive Board are all service connected amputees. They understood the doubts and fears that we all go through when faced with loss of limb.
Whether your loss was a result of trauma or disease, we understand how you feel. We all had the same questions – will I ever walk again, will I drive a car, participate in sports, can I wear a prosthetic? And we all had to begin the process of learning to rebuild our lives, going on to becoming full and productive people after our amputation.
Our web site explains our background, our mission, and how we help amputees. Please feel free to write or call our office with any questions or concerns. We are here to help.