Westminster Presents All-Terrain Wheelchair to Wounded Veteran
Life as Eric Jordan knew it changed forever in 2004 while serving in Iraq as an infantryman with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division: The 2.5-ton vehicle he traveled in that day drove over an improvised explosive device, causing severe injuries he would never fully recover from.
Members of the Alpha Eta chapter at Westminster College presented Jordan with an all-terrain wheelchair on Oct. 22, 2022, during halftime of the football game against the University of Northwestern, St. Paul.
The chapter brothers were excited to honor Jordan in front of a large crowd, many of who had served or are currently in the military.
“He was a guy who was in need and this chair would change his life, so he was the perfect candidate for it and it worked out he was a great guy,” said Number I Enrique A. Fuentes (Alpha Eta–Westminster ’19). “We’re really looking forward to making a difference in Mr. Jordan’s life.”
Jordan traveled with his wife, Stephanie, from their home in Firestone, Colorado to attend the ceremony. The all-terrain wheelchair will allow the couple to go on hikes in the mountains together as well as go fishing ― activities Jordan has found difficult for nearly 20 years with his traditional manual wheelchair.
“I live in Colorado and there’s a lot of mountains, trails, and fishing that I can’t get to but with this access chair I’ll be able to go wherever I want to,” said Jordan. “I was overwhelmed. I’m filled with joy and just happiness and they just restored me a place of independence and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”
After seeing the impact of the philanthropic efforts to support veterans by other KA chapters, the Alpha Eta chapter set the fundraising goal to donate a track chair to a catastrophically wounded veteran as well.
“We really wanted to do something bigger than ourselves to serve others,” Fuentes said.
In addition to the $20,000 needed to provide the all-terrain track wheelchair, the chapter far exceeded its fundraising goal and will be donating an additional $10,000o to The Independence Fund for various other veteran programs.
The halftime presentation was part of Westminster’s Second Annual Military Appreciation Day, which centers on the football game and begins with a pre-game coin toss by alumni veterans serving as honorary team captains. Additionally, an ROTC swearing-in ceremony took place at halftime in conjunction with the all-terrain chair presentation.
Since 2016, KA chapters have raised more than $875,000 for The Independence Fund and have donated 16 track chairs to catastrophically wounded veterans.