Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Bauer’

Why a life-changing disability doesn’t have to disable your life

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At The Advocator Group, we can alleviate the financial stress of a debilitating disability by securing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for our claimants. But that’s only part of the challenge that someone with a disability faces. We are hoping that stories of inspiration can help disabled individuals overcome some of those challenges and allow them to return to living a full life.

So with today being Veterans Day,  there’s no better opportunity to introduce you to someone who has met the challenges of becoming disabled head-on, and continues to live every day to the fullest.

Kirk Bauer lost his leg to a hand grenade in the Vietnam War, and for the past 41 years, he’s dedicated his life to inspiring others to pick up the pieces and make the most of their lives after a disability. Through his work as the Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA, Kirk uses competitive sports to show people that disability isn’t the end, but rather the beginning of a great new chapter in life.

Disabled Sports USA is a national nonprofit organization that provides disabled Americans with the opportunity to develop physical independence through sports, recreation, and education.

Kirk had his first experience with the organization when he returned from the battlefield in 1969. It had just been founded two years earlier by a group of other Vietnam and World War II veterans. At the time, the small group of organizers could only offer skiing instruction to other veterans who were returning from war with life-changing disabilities.

“When I came back I had one leg, I had shrapnel in me, and it took seven operations and six months for them to put me back together again,” says Bauer. “I was faced with what many of these young men and women [returning from Iraq and Afghanistan] are faced with now. I didn’t know who I was anymore.”

In the hospital, Kirk was approached by fellow veterans who recommended that he try working with the organization they had started, Disabled Sports USA. He started skiing and noticed immediate benefits from the exercise. (more…)