Eric Jordan served in Iraq as an infantryman with the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division. It was during his service in 2004 when a 2.5 ton vehicle he was traveling in detonated an improvised explosive device, which caused severe injuries to Jordan that would change his life forever.
A donation from a local fraternity hopes to make some aspects of his life a little bit better.
Members of the Alpha Eta chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at Westminster College will give Jordan an all-terrain wheelchair at an upcoming Westminster football game.
The wheelchair will be presented to him during halftime of the upcoming football game on Oct. 22, where the Westminster College Blue Jays will go against the University of Northwestern-St. Paul Eagles.
Jordan will be travelling to the ceremony from his home in Firestone, Colorado. He will be joined by his wife Stephanie. This all-terrain wheelchair will allow Eric and Stephanie to go on hikes in the mountains and go fishing, which are both activities Jordan has had dificulity with because of his traditional manual wheelchair, a press release states.
The wheelchair that will be given to Jordan cost approximately $20,000. The money was all earned by Alpha Eta students in less than a year, according to Alpha Eta chapter advisor Al Jenkins.
"They pounded the pavement, set up a GoFundMe and basically bugged the heck out of people," Jenkins said in a press release.
Alpha Eta received assistance from Operation KARE, who provided oversight to the fundraising process. Operation KARE is a student-led group out of High Point University in North Carolina that seeks to raise money to provide trackchairs for wounded veterans, according to Operation KARE's website.
The Independence Fund will provide the wheelchair as part of their mobility program, where the group "provides catastrophically wounded Veterans the chance to regain their independence through the use of all-terrain trackchairs," according to the Independence Fund's website.
The Alpha Eta fraternity brothers raised more than enough money to purchase the wheelchair, they actually raised $10,000 extra. This money will be donated to a variety of veterans' programs through the Independence Fund.
Enrique Fuentes, president of the Alpha Eta chapter, said fundraising for veterans is one of the organization's primary philanthropic activities. He said the Kappa Alphas are excited to meet Jordan at the football game.
"We really wanted to do something bigger than ourselves to serve others," Fuentes said in a press release.
This comes as part of Westminster's second annual Military Appreciation Day. In addition to the donation to Jordan, the pre-game coin toss will be done by Westminster alumni veterans serving as honorary team captains.
During halftime, an ROTC swearing-in ceremony will also take place. Westminster sophomore Blake Fischer will be sworn-in to the ROTC at this time.