Chapter 310:  Driving Lance Corporal Lang

With his van full of donated gifts carefully wedged between camouflage duffel bags, a folded wheelchair, crutches, and one wounded Marine, and VVA Chapter President Pete Belaire headed down I-94 towards his passenger's home in Parma, Michigan...

Belaire had met LCpl. Tim Lang during one of many visits he and fellow members of the Washtenaw County Chapter made to the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor to cheer the wounded returning from the wars in the Middle East

"Tim wanted to go home for Christmas and didn't have a way to get there with all his medical accessories," Belaire said.  " I just offered to drive him home."


Photo By Joe Monahan

 Belaire, a former Marine who had weathered a tour in Vietnam and two bouts of cancer, had a   lot in common with Lang, whose right leg and foot had been severely injured when he was struck by an IED on the streets of Fallujah.  Belaie recalled that as he pulled into the driveway of Lang's home, Lang's twelve brothers and sisters descended upon the van and swooped up their wounded brother, carrying him toward the open doorway, when Lang's mother stood with arms outstretched and wept.  "Timmy," she said through her tears, "it's so good to have you home."

Embraced by his family and friends at the Washtenaw County VVA Chapter 310, twice recognized as VVA Chapter of the Year, Lang began outpatient therapy at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor.  Learning of Lang's struggles to find transportation to and from the hospital, Chapter 310 members acted fast, contacting Chapter member Sandie Wilson, manager of the Vietnam Veterans of Michigan Car Dealership in Milan.   Wilson, who sells donated cars to support a homeless veterans shelter, arranged for a car to be delivered to Lang.  Chapter 310 picked up the cost of licensing and tax, while the Veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County chipped in $500.00 for gas.

Unfortunately, soon after, doctors told Lang that the fight to save his foot had been lost.  Facing amputation and numerous related medical issues, Lang was transferred to the Mologne House at Walter Reed

But the guys of 310 are still there (Walter Reed) for him, bringing him triple cheeseburgers from Wendy's and taking him shopping for a pair of specially fitted running shoes.  Whatever road Lang finds himself on, Chapter 310 is making sure that he doesn't have to travel it alone.