PINELLAS PARK (FOX 13) - When our service members come back home from combat, they often have injuries. Some of them are seen, others are not.
Mike Delancey knows that all too well.
"On Sept. 1st 2006, I was shot by an enemy sniper. The round went through my back, left scapula, straight across and hit my fifth, sixth and shattering my seventh vertebrae,” Delancey explained. “[It] hit my right nerve in my shoulder and fragmented in my right lung. After the smoke settled, I noticed that I couldn't move and I tried to yell that I was hit, but because the bullet was lodged in my lung nothing was coming out."
Delancey is now paralyzed from the waist down and he says he has never gotten down about it because of his outlook.
"That's life. Everybody has their ups and downs- has their obstacles. Everybody has their own struggles, but the trick is: don't look at the bad things that have happened to you. Look at the good things,” he said. “Look at the lessons. Look at the ways you have overcame. Look at the lives you've touched after the fact."
Delancey is hoping that his positive outlook will be contagious with other veterans in similar situations through the Wounded Warrior Abilities Ranch, an organization he started with his father.
The goal is to build on a 10-acre plot donated by the city of Pinellas Park that will allow for things like hand cycling, fishing, horseback riding and wheelchair basketball.
The entire "ranch" will allow for veterans to be "abled," when so much of their day, they're considered disabled.
“You're John; You're Steve; You're Tom; You're Mike. You're not just a guy in a wheelchair. I think when you do these activities, people start realizing that." Delancey said.
They have raised about $40,000, and are hoping that number grows substantially with their first ever gala to raise funds for the park.
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