Rocker Ted Nugent works with wounded veterans, shares story at NRA Convention in Houston
Nobody gets the crowds rocking harder than the Motor City Madman, and his appearance at the NRA Convention on Sunday was no exception. This experience, however, ended a little different than the others. Sure there was talk of guns and politics and the spirit of the hunt, but that soon gave way to a more somber moment. The moment when the Nuge revealed one of his darkest secrets.
"I've got to admit something right here. I feel guilty. You know it's hard to find ammo. I'm sorry … I've got it all.
"I'm really sorry about that. I've got this hobby."
Sauntering side to side, shaggy bearded with a rock star swagger, Mr. Ted Nugent of Redford, Michigan, had the crowd in his hands before the boots hit the stage. Smiling, laughing, sharing one Second Amendment story after another, Uncle Ted hit all the expect high points.
But there was a story, one story from Ted, that was probably missed by most. The story of Josh.
On his first day in Fallujah, a 22-year old Marine sniper named Josh was hit by enemy fire. Shot in the back, Josh would be paralyzed for life. Three years later, after countless trips to the hospital visits and work with physical therapists, Josh was back home with his family. Confined to wheelchair, he hardly ever made a sound.
"The family called and said he'd like to meet you. I told them I'd like to meet Josh."
In time a meeting was arrange. Taking place at the Nugent ranch, Josh and his family made their way to the Nugent ranch. What they didn't know is that Ted had been working behind the scenes.
"I want(ed) Josh to shoot his rifle again. (I told a friend to ) find somebody to build something so Josh can shoot his gun again. So Pete got down with his engineering department and put together an apparatus called the Liberator."
The Liberator is a modified sip-and-puff. For those of you unfamiliar with the device, a sip-and-puff is a device that allows an individual to operate a variety of tools or devices, like a rifle, the same way a paraplegic to operate a wheel chair. Each sip and puff, depending on duration, quantity and sequence, represents a specific command.
The Liberator included a display screen that showed the shooter what it would look like when staring through a scope. But that wasn't all. About eighty yards down range, Ted and his boys set up some water jugs. It was target practice time.
"(We) replaced his tube with the Liberator tube. And he sipped on that sucker and the crosshairs moved. He blew on it and the crosshairs moved. And Josh was gone man. He was back at the range.
"Twelve minutes later, Josh took a deep breath … dead center. Josh laughed for the first time in three years."
Odds are that this is the first time you heard this story. Odds are that everything reported about the Ted Nugent seminar last weekend at the NRA Convention was filled with descriptions of wild-eyed rants in front of a frenzied crowd. And that's a shame.
For all the pictures of Ted Nugent with rifles in hand or deers on the grill, all the stories about battling Bloomberg or Britain's Piers Morgan, all the media that twists word and phrase to shape the message rather than tell the story, odds are they didn't report a thing about Josh.
And odds are this isn't the first time Ted stepped up to the plate when it comes to America's veterans.