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Donated hand cycle benefits Tilton vets

Union Leader Correspondent

July 04. 2013 10:12PM
Members of the Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association, which helped arrange a donation of a new rehabilitation machine to the New Hampshire Veterans’ Home in Tilton, stand with the machine, which is piloted by Ron Barcomb, a Vietnam veteran and a resident of the home. From left, association members Robert Pickard, Richard Chandonnais, Rick Kent, Scott Botelho, Jack Blair, Barcomb (seated in the machine), Mary Boucher, Jack Rieck, Joe Neal, owner Ed Walter, Frank Doxey, Joseph Day and Ray Schwendeman. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

TILTON — Ed Walter won’t tell how much he paid for a slightly used Invacare three-wheeled hand cycle at a pawn shop. But he got it for a good price, he said.

Walter, the owner of, a used car dealership in Hooksett, bought the machine used for rehabilitation so he could donate it to the New Hampshire Veterans Home.

The machine is worth $3,400.

“I knew it was a good deal,” he said. “But the price doesn’t matter so much. I thought of the veterans home when I saw it. Anything I can do to help these guys is worth it.

“If it wasn’t for the vets, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the freedoms we have.”

The three-wheeled machine is propelled by the driver’s arms, not his or her legs. A rider propels it by turning the handlebars, which turn the front wheel.

It is therapeutic because it allows the home’s residents to get a full workout without the need of their legs, an important feature for many older veterans who have limited or no use of their lower limbs.

“For some of these men who sit at tables all day and use their arms but not their legs, this provides a great cardio workout,” said Ray Schwendeman of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, which helped with the donation.

Veterans home officials gladly accepted the machine recently. It’s the third gift that the motorcycle association has helped arrange for the home in the past two years.

“Our slogan is, ‘Vets helping vets,’” Schwendeman said. “This machine can add a couple of years to a veteran’s life.”

New Hampshire Tilton Photo Feature

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