Military service is a family affair, and one of the primary motivators for Bobby Fecteau to join the United States Army in 1999. Fecteau says, “I was motivated by a legacy of service in our family, primarily following in my father’s footsteps to serve my country.”
Fecteau served in the Army for eight years, before embarking upon a career in healthcare and later earning an MBA in the field.
Shortly after leaving the Army, Fecteau competed in an adventure race, “I dove into a shallow mud pit fracturing my cervical 4/5/6 spine — rendering me an incomplete tetraplegic.”
The road to recovery and rehabilitation was a long one for Fecteau, with him spending “eight months in intensive inpatient rehabilitation at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.”
Paralyzed Veterans at his bedside.
While in the hospital, Fecteau became acquainted with the Paralyzed Veterans of America when a member introduced himself. Fecteau recounts:
A member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America introduced themselves to me almost immediately after arriving at the hospital. It had a huge impact on me early on that I had a lifelong partner in the difficult road to recovery ahead.
Paralyzed Veterans helped shape Fecteau’s journey through rehabilitation and preparing him for life post-injury. “The Paralyzed Veterans of America has had an instrumental impact on my recovery from day one,” says Fecteau, “They’re by your bedside early on making sure you know exactly what you need in terms of benefits in the VA.”
Navigating life post-injury
Fecteau also says that Paralyzed Veterans taught him “how to navigate life post-injury through their mentorship, allowed me to lead a healthy life through adaptive sport, and provided me the confidence to achieve whatever goals I may set.”
Adaptive sports have been a part of Fecteau’s life since his days in outpatient rehab. After completing his inpatient rehab, Fecteau went on to spend “another two years in outpatient rehabilitation combining activity-based therapy, adaptive sports, and research studies.”
A member of the Northern Virginia Wheelchair Rugby team Mutiny, Fecteau is also an avid golfer. Says Fecteau, “I was exposed to adapted sports via the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and the Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open,” both of which he’s competed in numerous times since being injured eight years ago.
However, benefits, sport, and support are only a few of the ways Paralyzed Veterans have helped Fecteau’s life. Not only has Fecteau found fellowship, but he says, “I also utilized the Operation PAVE program to successfully regain employment post-injury.”
Serving as Paralyzed Veterans of America Fellow, Fecteau says “it is my hope to strengthen the brand and continue the legacy of this great organization so anyone confronted with disability may realize they have a staunch advocate and support network for life.”