Lt Greg Robarts, and partner from the Bay County Sheriff's Office provided us with escort from our hotel to the facility.
Joe and Cliff arrive to a warm welcome from staff, patients, and support group members.
Don extends a personal welcome to the Amputees Across America traveling circus members.
The mother of Sgt Cope, a recent bilateral amputee holds the crowd in rapt attention, and is followed by Cliff's expression of support for her son's courage and sacrifice. When Cliff, however, started talking about his experiences as a three year old child on a tricycle, Toney Bennett, CEO, begins to squirm in his seat.
The local amputee support group, an integral part of the HealthSouth amputee program, were a source of great inspiration to the AAA riders.
Clff continues to tell his life story to a HealthSouth patient. As Cliff relates his experiences as a three year old riding a tricycle, the patient nods off.
Cliff finally finds a patient that will sit and listen to his story as a three year old riding a tricycle and is rewarded with a poster. The patient was later seen in a catatonic state induced, presumably by an overload of information about a three year old riding a tricycle.
Joe meets a patient who wants to know if Abel is really as short as he appears on the poster.
Joe is humbled and honored to run into two legends of Air Power. Paul Airey, first CMSGT of the Air Force for whom the Air Force NCO Academy is named, and John W. Bolyard, a well known fighter ace, while flying the P-40 Tomahawk with General Chennault's Flying Tigers in World War II join Joe for a picture.
Cliff loses his hat and his heart to a patient standing tall.
Working on his dance steps, Cliff practices the twist on a balance disc.
Joe and Cliff try to ride the scooter and find that it is a physical challenge beyond their capability.
Joe and Cliff are both shown up with the first time ride of a patient, labeled as "The Comeback Kid."
Our thanks to Tony Bennett, CEO, Cindy Carpenter, DMO, and her more than able assistance from Sandia Hampton, Ray Morris, and a multitude of staff and voluneers who made our visit a great success. The generous support from HealthSouth, IPA Orthotics, and Don were all appreciated.