Inspiring Wounded Warriors To Excel
May 12, 2008
I’ve published stories here at A Soldier’s Mind in the past about the great things that have been accomplished by some of our Wounded Warriors. I’ve introduced you to two very special wounded veterans, both in this story and this one. Bob Kunkle and Joe Beimfohr have demonstrated time and time again, that with the desire to excel, even our Wounded Warriors can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Both of them were wounded in different wars, Bob in Viet Nam and Joe in Iraq. Both of them have overcome their injuries to lead full and productive lives and both of them have dedicated themselves to showing fellow wounded warriors, that being disabled, doesn’t mean they can’t protect themselves and it doesn’t mean that they can’t achieve their goals. I can’t say enough about the many lives that these two men have touched, especially the lives of other Wounded Warriors. They’re both inspirational and both have accomplished so much, despite the injuries they have fought to overcome.
When I wrote the first story about Joe and Bob and the self-defense method that they teach at Walter Reed, it didn’t dawn on me that I had met Joe before. After Joe stopped by to comment on the story, only then did I realize that I had met him before. When I lived in Maryland, myself and a friend visited numerous Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We had stopped in Joe’s room to leave him a blanket and some other gifts and visit with him a bit. I was amazed at his positive , can do attitude, despite the fact that he was a double amputee. He told us about his goals and what he was going to accomplish in his life, and I’m happy to say that he’s accomplished exactly what he told us he was going to. Before I left that day, I got Joe’s email address, which is how I realized that I had had the pleasure of meeting this amazing young man.
Joe and Bob have started, what they call They’ve modified the techniques of Dan Zan Ryu Ju-Jitsu, as well as other forms of martial arts, into a system, designed to allow persons in a wheel chair or with other physical disabilities, to be able to defend themselves. For the past two years, Bob and Joe have been teaching these techniques to Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed and sharing their inspiring stories with the warriors they come into contact with. While Joe lives in the general area of Washington DC, Bob has quite a commute each time he visits Walter Reed, driving from Upstate New York. But distance and time away from his family and his job, don’t stop Bob from his dedication to reaching out to our Wounded Warriors to give them hope and inspiration and show them, from he and Joe’s firsthand experiences, that they CAN accomplish anything and their injuries don’t have to get in the way.
Bob and Joe have recently teamed up with a very gifted artist, Carol Culhane, who creates works of art in honor of our Heroes. Carol’s specialty is one of a kind ornaments. She creates these ornaments and presents them to the Heroes serving our country in our Armed Forces. Carol has created many such works of art and often provides her artwork to raise funds for various military organizations, as well as many other worthwhile charitable organizations. I could go on and on about Carol and her credentials, but if you visit her website, her art will tell you so much more. Carol currently is selling her ornaments to help ensure that Bob’s mission to continue to serve the Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed and other military hospitals can continue. All proceeds from the sale of Carol’s ornaments will go to help fund Bob’s continued service to our Wounded Warriors. Bob and Joe will soon be traveling to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, as well, to share their work with the Warriors being treated there. I’m looking forward to finally being able to meet Bob in person and once again meet up with Joe.
Carol recently was able to accompany Bob on one of his latest trips to Walter Reed and sent me a few pictures that I’d like to share with our readers. She shared her thoughts and feelings after making that trip and how actually being able to visit the Wounded Warriors was humbling and awe-inspiring and made her realize just how important what Bob and Joe do at Walter Reed is.
“I just wanted to touch base with regarding the Walter Reed visit. Bob and I spent four days with the soldiers and I was able to hand out approximately 52 ornaments and stands. What an experience!!!
I would love to continue to help Bob in his endeavors. It is obvious the need is greater than he will ever be able to fulfill.
I felt so humbled around the wounded and the people who care for them, their families and staff. What a remarkable experience.”
Please take some time to visit Carol’s website, as well as the website for Able Warriors Self Defense, read about the great work that Bob, Joe and Carol are doing and purchase an ornament for your favorite Soldier, family member or Gold Star Family. Remember all the proceeds will be used to help Bob and Joe continue their mission of helping other Wounded Warriors. Like Carol, what Bob and Joe are doing, is something that I believe in with all of my heart and I want to do everything possible to ensure that they succeed in their endeavor to help their fellow Wounded Warriors.
Just Me Art, Inc.