Article written by Luke Laster
“It just makes me feel very special.”
And a special day it was for veteran Bob Crandall who stood upright today for the first time in 30 years.
It all started when Hell’s A-Roarin’ Outfitters in Gardiner ran a fundraiser and was looking to donate a Trackstander to a veteran in need. After a few phone calls and some extra money raised to get a standup version of the ultimate chair; Crandall, who is also a member of Warrior Wishes Montana, was the obvious choice to receive this gift. George Blackard, Americanism Chairman for the Department of Montana was happy to be a part of the journey that got Crandall in a Trackstander.
“It was a group effort from a lot of different people to make it happen. But we got it done in pretty quick time. We even got a trailer for him to haul it in and it’s just great to be able to be a part of something like this,” Blackard said.
Crandall was overjoyed and grateful to get into his new chair. He told us he can’t wait to do some fishing and hunting. He’s also a member of Horses Spirits Healing in Billings where he says with this chair, he’ll now be able to stand up and be right next to the horse when he’s caring for them.
As a member of Warrior Wishes, Crandall says he’s usually the one taking care of others, but in this case, the tables have turned.
“We’ve been, for several years now, trying to help other veterans in Montana. And all of a sudden, without me realizing it, I have someone turning around and saying thank you for what you’ve done,” Crandall said.
During the time it took to get Crandall situated in his new chair, his service dog, Jake, was going crazy; as any good service dog would. After Jake saw his owner in his new chair he couldn’t help but hold back as you’ll see by his reaction in the above video.