ABC7 Salutes: Wounded veterans getting back behind the wheel
Marine Veteran Josh Himan Friday described what it felt like the first time he drove again on his own,
"That feeling is something I can't describe in words."
Injuries he suffered in Afghanistan left him paralyzed from the chest down.
"I went to the store myself, I went to barbershop myself and I didn't have to ask my mom can I go get my haircut," Himan recalls.
With the help of Tammy Phipps, a veteran and rehabilitation specialist, Himan regained independence and started again to feel normal.
Now the two have teamed up in business to help people across the DMV with disabilities get back out on the road.
Friday, the two opened the Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence in Chantilly, hoping to fill a need for services in Fairfax County.
"There are no services currently that provide the whole spectrum evaluation training behind the wheel and also installation of equipment," Phipps said.
DRCE hopes to get anyone with a disability, not just veterans, who longs to drive behind the wheel.
"This is changing lives for people whose lives were forever changed," Virginia's Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, John Harvey Jr., told the two at the company's grand opening.
Retired Army Sergeant First Class Mark Holbert, a double amputee, knows how beneficial this will be for his community.
He's been driving a modified vehicle for four years, but there's been no where close to his Virginia home to get services for the modified equipment in his vehicle, until now.
"I think its wonderful," Holbert added.