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WisCorps helping veteran regain freedom

Group built flower bed for paralyzed veteran

Inclusive Wiscorps Crew Gives Back

WEST SALEM, Wis. (WKBT) - Mobility is a gift many of us take for granted, but one special group is giving that gift back to an area veteran confined to a wheelchair.

Last fall, we shared the story of veteran Richard Miller who became paralyzed following a recent health emergency.

WisCorps had built Miller a ramp so he could access his flower garden.
The group is back Monday with a special group of individuals to give Miller a little more freedom to do what he loves.
William Drascic has spent the last month getting hands-on experience with WisCorps.

"A lot of it has been pretty hard work, actually,” he said.

His hard work is all a part of WisCorps' inclusive crew, a group of paid workers who happen to have a disability.

"I am almost completely blind,” Drascic said.

"People with disabilities is the largest minority group and has one of the highest unemployment rates,” said program coordinator Andrea Frisch.

The crew spent Monday constructing raised flower beds for Richard Miller of West Salem, who is paralyzed after a recent health emergency.”

"It allows Rich to get back to gardening,” Frisch said. “Typically gardening, you get dirty, but if you are using a manual wheelchair or a power wheelchair, you're not going to be able to get down on the ground easily."

With his ramp built from last year, Miller's raised flower beds will give him even more freedom to tend to his garden.

"Just being able to make some decisions that I couldn't make if I didn't have these raised beds,” Miller said.

But what gives Miller even more pride is knowing these young adults with disabilities aren't letting any limitation slow them down.

"I was a social worker for 31 years, and that was always my goal to empower people to reach their full potential,” Miller said.

For Drascic, helping Miller achieve his freedom is helping him gain some of it as well. 

"I really want to turn the tables of how society views people with disabilities,” Frisch said.

"They're not judgmental they're willing to help -- let's say I make a mistake, they're willing to help me make it through it and learn,” Drascic said.

WisCorps’ inclusive crew will end this week with some work for Chad Erickson Memorial Park, a park especially made for people with disabilities in La Crosse.

The hope is the members can put this job down on a resume to find long-term employment.

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