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tv   Medical Technology for Veterans  CSPAN  May 31, 2017 7:25am-8:31am EDT

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knowing it preparing for donald trump to happen. >> he is a contributor to rolling stone magazine it is the author of several books including smells like dead elephant, dispatches from a rotting empire, the great derangement, a terrifying true story of war, politics and religion. story of bankers, politicians and the most audacious power grab in american history. and his most recent book, insane clown president, dispatches from the 2016 circus. during our live three our conversation we will take your calls, tweets and facebook questions on his literary career. watch in depth with author and journalist matt taibbi sunday. >> gary lynnfoot was paralyzed when serving in iraq in 2008. he's now the first veteran to
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use full-body exoskeleton technology that allows him to walk again. he told his story at the reagan library in seamy valley, this is an hour. >> good evening. for those i have not yet met, i am chief marketing officer for the reagan foundation and institute. thank you for being here this evening. if you have attended an event here before you know we start each program by reciting the pledge of allegiance, we do it in honor of the men and women who defend our freedom around the world. i ask you to recite the pledge that we do so in honor of those currently fighting, those are missing, those who have perished and those were veterans. please join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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thank you. before we get started there are a few people in the audience i want to recognize. i understand there is a large group from gary family including his mother, his brother and his daughter alyssa. we ask everyone in the family to stand so we can thank you for being here. [applause] >> also here with us this evening congressional medal of honor recipient lieutenant colonel robert friend him a one of the last surviving tuskegee airmen. good to have you with us this evening. [applause]
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>> greg howlima, thank you for being here. [applause] >> a very special thank you to lori baker who is sitting right here, executive director of the internet hero foundation which is the organization that donated the exoskeleton to gary. [applause] >> there are many honorable and prestigious things we get to do as employees of the reagan foundation like organizing presidential debates, hosting eventss were sitting congressman, cabinet members and we had president george w. bush here. for me, getting to know and meeting our country's heroes far outweighs anything else i had the privilege to do and getting to know tonight's speakers a highlight of my career. this event first came to happen because we were looking for speakers to tie into interactive events. those who have not in the exhibition interactive is a
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large scale that is how science fiction can become reality. how modern-day technology has been influenced by popular culture from the 50s through the 80s, star wars, star trek, terminator, back to the future changing the way we live, work and connect in phrase. it is through april 17th. how do we find a speaker who exhibits this? he recommended we bring tonight at speaker to the library. here is a guy literally wearing a wearable robot. in doing research for tonight's program i found this quote from the cofounder of xo bionics, science-fiction technology, we are helping people walk again who otherwise couldn't. science-fiction to reality in a short time which leads to tonight's guest. she for an officer gary lynnfoot has 20 years of military service, 160th special operation
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aviation regiment. you saw the video a few minutes ago in june 2008 conducting operations in iraq, garriott helicopter suffered catastrophic mechanical failure and crash landed. as a result of the hard landing gary suffered a broken back and was paralyzed below the waist. he retired from the army in 2010 but continues to serve the night stalker community as a flight instructor. forward to 2014, gary became the first military recipient of an xo exoskeleton for home use from the hero foundation. memorial day 2014, he took 400,000 steps using the device. we saw in the video not sure about you but i was in the back room crying, a few months ago he went down the aisle. as president reagan sarah veterans are the heroes among us. let us pay them tribute and resolve to live up to their example. i can think of no better person i would like to live up to. gary lynnfoot with his wife. [applause] [applause]
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[applause] [applause] [applause]
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>> so excited. [applause] >> thank you. my legs are shaking. nervous. good evening and thank you for joining us. it is an honor and pleasure to be with you. at the ronald reagan library and speak with you. carl friend celebrated his 97th birthday this past week. [applause] >> hope i look that good when i am your age. also like to recognize lori baker for -- are you okay? the film he saw, she did a
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fabulous job on it and it captures the essence of what every hero is doing. tonight i will tell you a story. my hope is that you hear a story of a family that has overcome difficult challenges head on never backing down, never giving up. it is a story of hope, it is our story. may 31, 2008, is the date my life and the lives of my family and friends were changed forever. i had been in the army for 21 years, had been a pilot over 19 years and completed one combat rotation in afghanistan, immediately following 9/11 was on my 20th combat operation in iraq. it was 861 days.
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i was in be company and we were known as -- the world had ever known. i was at the apex of my career, there was no other job in the world i wanted. i was in my element and where i needed to be. if you recall we had been at war almost seven years at that point come in iraq for five years. in 2008, the end of a successful surgical we broke the backs of the enemy and had them on the run. for my family the constant deployments 30 to 90 days to iraq, four or five times a year had become somewhat routine. i would tell my wife and kids to get by. i would be gone the next 90 days, missing holidays, birthdays, special occasions, school sports.
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life went on at home without me. all i could think about was being home again, getting back to iraq. in all those years i never made it back home. i was routine. i will loosen this up because i can hardly breathe. i call this my girl. instant thinning device, gets my guts sucked in. thank you. that with a routine for us. this night would prove anything but routine. 31st of may 2008, in iraq i work that day, showered, grabbed a cup of coffee, i was updated by
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crew chiefs, walked over to the operations center to report the daily status of the aircraft and received a warning it was shaping up to be a routine night, french counterparts who were a member of the joint task force, around 10:00, headed for our mission site in baghdad. the operations brief, they are always fun to work with and although we shared a common language they were often very difficult to understand, requiring someone to translate into american for us. the brief for this night had a heavy accent. the end of the brief i turned
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over to my guy and said does anybody understand a word he just said? everybody shook their head no, we did not. we got clarification and were good to go. our mission was simple. we had literally performed hundreds of times. the brits would fly to an american operating base in baghdad. there, the ground force you to link up with four american fighting vehicles and armored humvees. they would ride to the objective, leave the vehicles in what was called the vehicle drop off and quietly and hopefully undetected walk to the objective where they would surround the target building was once surrounding the building they would surround the person of interest, the target that night. the person they want to detain. for us it was low hanging fruit at that point. things got loud, meaning they
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had to assault the building and provide close air support. we departed to proceed to our holding area. when we took off, the power of heavily laden egg shaped chariot of death, number 649 with 14 rockets, 3000 rounds of fuel, even as maximum growth rate, 4700 pounds, 650 hp engines with rotor blades churning in the hot air into submission. climbing to 300 feet, called our departure callsign have again the dog the 4 slipped into the night. some time after takeoff we could hear a strange noise at the rear of the aircraft, a loud noise of sorts. this was the first and only
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indication of impending failure of the engine to the transmission driveshaft. my copilot and i were unable to determine the source with all the cockpit instrumentation reading normal, no unusual vibrations. we convinced ourselves the heater had opened somehow or an engine panel had opened. so we continued our mission. eventually the noise all but ceased. and 0 illumination, visibility was 3 miles of blowing dust, one blue out of the north 25 miles. we had an altitude of 300 feet, speed of 70 not syndicated indicating we were headed 180. suddenly there was a muffle, loud explosion or pop from the
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aircraft. that was a coupling connecting the driveshaft to the engine disintegrated and we lost all power. immediately we violently went -- fell from the sky. i entered an auto rotation putting the aircraft in a hard left turn to get into a head wind. scanning the instruments, maintaining rotor rpm, simultaneously making a made a call on the radio looking for suitable landing area. we were too heavy and falling fast. it was going to be a hard landing. i will never seen the green blur of the ground rushing through night vision goggles and remember hearing the audio warning of low rotor, rapidly decaying to the red. i told my copilot brace for
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impact and we hit. on the onset was 10 seconds, the impact itself was very surreal. if you have ever been in a violent high-speed automobile crash, you can pretty much relate to what it felt like. after the sound of the aircraft crashing and rotor blades smacking the ground at the tail section separating from the helicopter, all the lungs leaving our bodies, there was an eerie silent stillness. upon impact my vertebrae burst, fragments of bone into the spinal cord. paralysis was instant. i felt my legs fall to the left. i shut down the aircraft, smell the odor of jet fuel. fearing we may be on fire i yelled to greg we needed to get out. with my right hand i grabbed the doorframe through the shattered plexiglass, stepped in the
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cockpit and at that time realized i could not move my legs and the pain kicked in. greg had suffered a broken back in the concussion and to this day has no memory of the crash or events leading up to the accident. greg was able to egress and was lying in pain in the front of the aircraft. we missed landing in the water by a few feet. i grabbed my am 4 rifle and signaled the sister ship we were alive, want any approaching person to stay away and fire double shot. greg heard those shots and was knocked somewhat loopy. he thought we were being shot at and yelled back they are shooting at us. i told him it was only me. stop shooting, tried to contact the patrol ship that was overhead. with no success.
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nothing but darkness. at this time i checked my legs to find out if they had just been broken and i was in some sort of shock. both legs were intact and i knew i had suffered a spinal cord injury. many thoughts and images raced through my mind and they told me the same thing, this was going to suck. after 10 minutes my friend steve appeared at my door and asked if we had been shot down, i said i believed it was a mechanical failure. steve quickly triageed myself and began to contact the aircraft to get us. two flat tops from the 160th landed near the crash site. greg evacuated on our ma 60 and i waited for the air force para-rescue team to cut me out of the aircraft. less than an hour after the
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crash, which was really remarkable if you consider everything, the first of several hospitals en route, it was back at the crash that a nurse handed me the phone, i called mary, and -- chief of staff. [laughter] >> mary walked in the front door after a long day, the phone rang and she was surprised to hear my voice. if anybody from the unit contacted her, she said no and immediately something bad had happened. my voice was calm and clear and i told her i had been in a bad crash and broke my back. i was going to live a life of back pain but was relieved i was okay and then i told her i
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couldn't move my legs. she immediately went into crisis mode and had the frame of mind to have me talk to the kids so they knew their dad was okay. it would be a sleepless night for her and the kids. i am sorry. our son simply asked if this meant if his dad had to go back to iraq again. less than 24 hour surgery was completed to fix my spine and i was on my way to army medical center. the first three hospitals where we spent the next three months in rehab.
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we began our journey together. a spinal cord injury is a unique complex injury, no two injuries are ever exactly the same. there were effects of the injury i had never thought of. beyond the loss of movement to my leg there was loss of bladder and bowel control, sexual function and loss of dignity. depression is very common. then there is the pain that never goes away, it is a very cruel injuries. in those months we moved from walter reed to tampa, florida and the shepherd center in atlanta. all the while we were discovering more about this injury, the new normal of being a paraplegic. i was focused on recovery and getting home while mary was focused on what we needed to include home and vehicle
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modification, special equipment, continued therapy, the list goes on and on. together we made a pretty good team. the next year was all about learning the reality of being a paraplegic. many hours were spent on the phone coordinating with doctors to get things done. we had to learn to patiently navigate our way through an immense bureaucracy. in january of 2010, i was medically retired with 23 years of service. that summer i began to work as a simulator flight instructor teaching our new aviators to the 160th. sometimes that summer if i remember correctly, the time at this point of that time in my life, pretty much a blur of change and i believe i had depression. i fell into depression. i know i took out a lot of my
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anger and frustration on mary. i was angry. i was ashamed of what i had become. i lost my self-worth as a soldier. as a man. as a husband and as a father. i had gone from being an elite special operations attack helicopter pilot, out for mail and leader of remarkable warriors fighting evil to someone who could do very little for himself. in my mind, i was a failure.
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on the outside a good job of covering it up. tried to keep a smile on my face and good attitude, joked around, tried to exercise, tried to cover the pain and do my best not to complain but on the inside i died a little more each day. this injury was beating me down and it was a death of 1000 cuts. i prayed to god that he would take this all from the. and prayed that it would just end. i wanted it all to be over. i have strayed into the dark
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abyss. we are all here for a short amount of time, we are here with and for a purpose. i truly believe that vincent stewart has a plan for all of us. if it were not true we would not be here now. i survived that crash not because of my flying skills, although if you ask me -- i will tell you how good i am. and how good-looking too. right? i believe i survived that night because vincent stewart had a purpose for me. he is not done with me yet. for this reason that i chose and my family chooses to continue to fight together. we have never given up.
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i prayed to god, it was as if i heard him say, that is right, you can't do this alone. that is why i have given you your wife and children and family and friends and you have me. i believe the same. vincent stewart does not give you more than you can handle is incorrect. he will give you more than you can handle but it is with him and through his strength that you will overcome and you will thrive. mary and i have made a conscious choice to move on about our lives. we owe it not only to ourselves but our family and friends and we owe it to those we have lost. i have been given a second chance many of my friends and fellow warriors did not get. i owe it to those who did not come home, to live a life well
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lived. there have been many difficulties on this path and i won't lied to you. it has been a tough road. in the end i believe it will all be worth. we benefited from the kindness and generosity of many people and i have been the recipient of high-tech robotic equipment including the ibought which is an electric wheelchair that climbs stairs, lifting me to a height of 6 feet and the exoskeleton in which i stand before you tonight. with this equipment we have traveled the country seeing and doing things i never would have thought possible. talking to young kids about advanced robotics and hopefully planting a small seed in the mind of a child that will one day blossom into an idea that may change the world and even help end paralysis. the success we completed an fda
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trial, the exoskeleton is now available to veterans through the va. we demonstrated what was thought to be impossible, a paraplegic has fundamentally been able to stand and walk again. i was honored to be the first paraplegic to walk around the statue of liberty using the exoskeleton and it was in april of 2015 that for the first time since the accident i was able to stand with mary by my side for the national and some in russell, tennessee. i will never take for granted the little things in life, little things like being able to get out of bed in the morning, use the bathroom in less then two minutes or the ability to climbed three steps to knock on a neighbor app store or stand and hug my wife and kids. these had been lost to me but some of them i'm getting back. as you saw in the video this past october i was able to walk
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my beautiful daughter down the aisle. here is where i can't make contact because i will get tearful. i will stare right here. ask me for advice, a traumatic event, i offer the following. trust in the lord, it is a gift. get up every morning, find your purpose, rewrite your story if needed and discover what your why is. why am i here? what is my purpose. it might not what you thought it was going to be but you have a purpose. discover what it is and pursue it with everything you have. surround yourself with people you love, people who support you and will challenge you. use words of encouragement for each other. you never know what those simple words of encouragement will do,
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you may change a life. we will all face tragedy and hardship. ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness and you got to move on. no one ever said life was going to be easy. accept the challenge of life and play the card you have been dealt to the best of your ability. in the end it will all have been worth it. lastly, never ever quit. thank you. [applause]
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[applause] >> fall off the chair to the left. that is better. [laughter] [applause]
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>> we can't thank you enough for sharing that story. [applause] >> you can take up too much time. up here. >> it squeezes the not out of you. >> watching you walk in and sit down, can you explain how the exoskeleton actually works? >> it basically replaces the bone and muscle of my body. and mechanically and electrically it will -- i will take control of it, activate it, tell it i'm going to start moving and the way i want is
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much like you would walk if you were going to step off with your left foot, you put your weight over your right foot and shift your feet forward. i did the same thing. when the device detects i'm in safe parameters that will activate the step and i will just continue to repeat that process. .. and not let me drop to the ground. it was just a matter of learning where the safe points were,, where the shift points work. it took about three days to
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learn it and then after using the device for i would say after a couple of weeks to a month it was, it was easy. >> and how much, mari is helping today, your son is helping you and other people, how much are the actually doing in the movement? >> once she stands the up, she has to activate the standing feature. she turns control over to me and then she is there purely for safety purposes. because if i were to fall back and i get the crutches back to catch myself, that's how i do it. however, if i'm in a situation where i am unable to get the crutches back, she's back there to push me back into place. >> do you know how you became the first person to receive an exoskeleton? >> kind of a long story. i'll try to give us the cliff note versions of it. i've been involved with an organization called the airpower foundation, and they are
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involved annually in events that hosted by american airlines and is called sky ball down the dallas-fort worth. i guess it'd been been involved with them for several years and heavier sky ball, they have a different name. in the past it's been welcoming home our world war ii veterans or vietnam veterans or goal for veterans. this particular year they were highlighting how robotics and technology were helping and influencing the lives of our returning veterans. and one of the folks that was on the board that year, his company just made a major investment into xo bionics and he knew about this exoskeleton and he said it would be great if we could bring one of these devices out and demonstrated at sky ball. the director, he said, that's an excellent idea but will not use one of your guys. i knew just the guy you we would
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use. they gave me a call, asked if i'd be interested in getting in the exoskeleton. i said absolutely. we flew to california, got trained up over three days. about a month and a half later walked out on stage with the xo. >> remarkable part are the limitations on how well you can use it or things you wish you could do that it doesn't do the? >> sure. the limiting factor to it right now is battery power. that's always going to be an issue with devices like this. said if any on how much i'm walking i probably get an hour to an hour and a half out of one set of batteries and then we can switch up the batteries. so in total we can get about four hours i guess, that we live the two sets. this device is limited to a flat level surface without much of a rise. they can handle about three degrees of rise. unable to go up and down stairs at this point. so those are its major limiting
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factors right now. >> and i speedy i wish i could run, climb trees. >> in time, right? in time. it will keep getting smaller and smaller. i do know the answer to this but have to ask the question. some people name their boats, some people named their cars. have you named your exoskeleton? >> we have. >> newman. [laughing] >> and newman is, if remember, newman from seinfeld. [laughing] >> so you here last night with our program president bush in part to the brook any mention to me you met them before. can you explain how that happened? >> shortly after returning from our first combat operations in afghanistan, we came home, and this was in april or may of 2002. jsoc had put on what's called by capabilities exercise for president of united states.
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this is really president bush's first exposure and detailed briefing and devastation of what the capabilities of jsoc were. so it was during some of our displays at the point where you just walk in and meeting everybody. i had the opportunity to meet him and shake cans with them. >> that's really great. got to meet him again last night. we know you did 19 overseas to us. can you tell us what kept you going to all of those doors? >> this sounds corny but it's just a sense of duty, a sense of purpose. what we are fighting, this evil that is out there, is something we've got to destroy. we are not going to do it sitting at home. so i felt it was my job to go down range and take the fight to the enemy. and if nothing else i was going to help keep it over there, not
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about to come home to the united states. [applause] >> being able to be a flight instructor, are you able to keep that sense of purpose going? >> somewhat. it's not as exciting. i'm not scaring myself every night chasing rockets to the ground. i feel like i still have my finger in the mix and unable to some way influence and help our new aviators learn about the aircraft. a lot of it is not only, you know, we teach systems and the simulator but a lot of it is just relating our combat experience to folks so they don't have to, okay, we embellish a lot of stories. we tell were stories while we're down on the consul, but there is a purpose to that because many
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of the lessons learned in previous combat operations have been lost to us over the years. if we have people who can keep reminding us, telling us, teaching this lesson we learn they will not be forgotten and it will continue on. >> so mari we did put a mic on your site to ask you a question. can you share a few words about your journey through all of this? >> i think, when gary first, when the first is going to go to war, i thought gary would either come home or he wouldn't. the whole thing about him coming home severely wounded didn't really enter my mind. gary was a pilot. to be very honest, my other friends, their husbands either cable or they didn't. people rarely survive a helicopter crash. so this whole thing of him being
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severely injured was not on the radar at all. i am very, very, consider myself one of the lucky ones obviously and am very, very thankful that gary did survive and thankful that his mind is good. he's still the same person. his shoes last a lot longer. [laughing] he's shorter. sometimes. anyway, so i'm very thankful that i still have him. immediately after he was injured, let's figure it out, was my problem-solving mode, where i live for a very long time. actually it still is. last night around president bush, you know, made a joke that, i won't tell soma, he asked if you look different, at things differently now that he is a painter.
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he said yeah, i look into ellen degeneres eyes and i thought i can mix that color. [laughing] so when it into a room, i figured out how we're going to navigate the room, how we're going to get in, get out, how we're going to get a rental car that will work and fit all our equipment, how we would get every evening to the airport. constant problem-solving. honestly i'm thankful for it. >> that's nice that such a nice family. [applause] >> a funny story about shoes. one of the guys i work with, greg, he had an old pair of shoes and he was six and to get rid of them. get a new pair. they still look pretty good. i was like those bottoms look well-worn. can i have those shoes? because it would make me look a little more normal if they were born. >> i know fast you, i was
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fortunate to spend some time with kerry yesterday and today and i've asked you a feeling questions and you must get stopped every day and asked the same question over and over and over again. does it ever get tiring? >> no. because people are just curious. they want to know. i will never fault someon soma r asking a question. everyone is only been respectful and i was raised, where i came up in the army everybody has a thick skin. if you were insulted you got over it in about two seconds if you moved on. so no, i welcome questions from people. just because there is a lot about paralysis and injuries that are missing to people. people are aware of what it's like, what it's about, maybe challenges you face, i think that helps us all make the world a better place for folks that are dealing with special circumstances.
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>> which i think it's a great lead into taking ideas questions. we will have you raise your hand. these way for someone to bring a microphone to you because this is being recorded and the only way the cameras can hear is at the microphone is brought to you. right there. >> gary, thank you for your service. did you have the option of jettisoning those rocket pods? >> yes, we did. it seems after any kind of aircraft accident, changes are made. one of the changes that was made to our aircraft was where the jettison panel for the rockets were. when you were at the time of my accident were below the collective control, very difficult to get to. my copilot, because we were in holding going into combat operations, he was saying at the door with his rifle and, of course, i was on the controls. when this all happened, it happened so quick, there just wasn't time in that ten seconds
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or less to reach down and jettison those rockets. now they've moved the jettison panel to upon the center console to where it's very easy to reach up and boom, hit those and jettison them. spirit there's one right here on the end. right here. >> my question is about the exoskeleton. and isn't this a first-generation and that there will be new and improved ones to come? and how many people do you think are eligible now, and will there be -- will the va provided with an exoskeleton? >> this particular exoskeleton is second-generation of the xo bionics version. they're constantly working to improve their devices. as a matter the money were going up to berkeley, california, help them with some testing for the next model. yes, they are continue to
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improve. they want to make it lighter, more powerful, more functional. because of the successful fda trials, these devices are available to paraplegics to the veterans administration. they have to get tested out and meet other tricky area -- meet all the criteria. there is competition helping drive innovation, but if individual meets the criteria to safely be fitted for and operate these devices, they are now eligible to have them at home through the va. >> i salute you. >> thank you. >> i want to thank you very much for your service both prior to entry and since and a big thanks to your lovely wife, mari. because as you know her job is certainly special as yours. my question to you is this. at the springtime in in
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wiltshire and i spent a fair amount of time in the erect position standing, has your physiology changed? >> a little bit. what i found is being up and moving around helps with this regulation, helps with the swelling of the legs. it helps with the bladder seems to be better when you're up and walking. the human body is just a minute to sit for long periods of time. for me i'm going on sitting for nine years now somebody to get up and walk around. so there's physiology of a body that seems to be better. bone density. from the scanxiety had, it has improved a little bit -- from the scans i have had -- id est not gone so bad so it has i guess help decrease the amount of bone density items over time. and then there's just the ability to stand up and converse with someone, looking in either
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you get the dignity back. and walking my daughter down the aisle. that was something -- [inaudible] >> thank you. that was really something that i was in a way i was looking forward to the day that she would get married, because the character she married, really good guy. he's a good guy but i always dreaded hitting whodunit i'll because it didn't know how is going to do. i was just kind of, i did want to do in a wheelchair. so when the exoskeleton came along it was a match made in heaven, a dream come true and i'm glad we were able to do. meant a lot to us. >> thank you. >> wanted to thank you for your service. i had a quick question i thought of essence i saw this on the website. you did 19 tours.
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that's a lot. how many do think he would've done if you're not gone in the accident? >> i probably would've kept going and telling it 30 years service. i have friends that, my -- [laughing] [applause] >> i have friends, they kept the point after i stop deploying and they numbered upwards around 30 or so. and keep in mind our rotation over there were somewhat different. there were not like conventional forces there are tours were anywhere from general anywhere from about 30-90 days. we go over there for five times a year, depending. >> thank you. >> as a c4 level quadriplegic i unfortunately can relate to a lot of what you been discussing
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here today. my question to you is, as you pursued things, constantly trying to get recovery, use technology to your advantage, et cetera, do you have any suggestions or knowledge that might help people they can't use their arms? >> so that's difficult. it's hard for me to understand completely with someone who does not use other arms is going through. i do remember when i was at the shepherds in one of the gentlemen i should my room with, he was, he had high neck injury. i don't know exactly what it was. he was able to stand but he couldn't use his hands. he was a craftsman, and so for him he was just saying if only i could have my hands back. i understand it but i really don't know completely. what i would say is, i
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participate in a program called the congressionally directed medical research program. so i see a lot of the research that is being proposed for all levels of spinal cord injury. there are a lot of great ideas coming down the pipeline. so i would say to someone, just don't give up hope. just, unit, make the best of what you have and just always be hopeful that tomorrow we are going to learn something more about this injury and how to overcome it. >> a lot of the similarity come as much as it can be similar to come between you and what she's done to the wheelchair ministry a few mouse mere i was chris what lessons you might've learned from our experience which happened her which is only 19 years old?
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>> you're not familiar. >> on north america months are. >> at the wheelchair -- just a few miles where she drove into a lake at age 19 and paralyzed from the neck down. she paints with her mouth and that sort of thing. someone who went before you in losing so much of her body use, as wonder press you would learned from u lesson summer but it sounds like perhaps not. >> well, yes, i have because there are so many people that have gone before me that have been injured. i see what they were able to accomplish. i've seen people who are high level quadriplegic that can still drive cars, drive racecars. when i see people that injured more severely than myself and what they'r they are able to ach and do, it's like, well, how can i stop? how can i quit when you are doing so much.
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>> thank you so much for your service. my question to you is, was the incident your first helicopter crash? >> first bad one, yes. i'd been involved in one where it crashed in downtown baghdad a couple years prior. more of a hard landing due to some fuel contamination but this, my crash was the first and last bad one i guess. >> over here. >> thank you. thank you for your service. really do admire both of you. the helicopter malfunction, was it due to equipment or was it some kind of defect and has that been resolved? >> so they were never quite able to determine exactly why the k flex coupling failed. what they did suspect was that
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somewhere in the maintenance process the driveshaft was not totally aligned and that over time the vibrations continue to build up until it reached a critical point and failed. so following the accident throughout our entire fleet, they inspected all the aircraft inspected all the driveshaft and k flex coupling and they determine that it was just an isolated event. >> i have a question about the exoskeleton also. i was curious whether you able to put it on by yourself or if you need assistance and how hard that process is? >> i pretty much need assistance putting this one on. it's just a very difficult. it takes us about five minutes, but mari does help to get my legs put in position and get the straps and everything. proper like. >> go over here.
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>> i just want to thank you and your wife and your whole family for coming. this has been awesome, and for your service, thank you. i wanted to know how much does this cost? with this be available to regular civilians? also, do you do any peer counseling with paraplegics? >> i do. i'm involved with a socom organization. anytime we have a soldier, active duty or retired, that is injured in any sort of spinal cord injury, in my local area i will go talk to them and hopefully meet with him. as far as cost, the current cost of this exoskeleton is about $110,000. so it's very cost prohibitive. however, as these will soon develop it will become cheaper. the other manufacturers who havn
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able to bring down the cost point other device. i think in time we will see these continue to drop in price, become more affordable and more available to everyday consumer >> we are only going to take two more questions. one over here and one over there. go ahead, carla. >> thank you. i was looking for to this broken very much. i have a question for both of you. what role did physical therapy play in your recovery? >> so for my particular injury and the level of injury, there wasn't a lot that physical therapy could do to recover any kind of function. so my physical therapy pretty much consisted of learning to transfer, get into the wheelchair. if i'm on the ground how to get back up into the wheelchair, and just learn things to preserve the functionality in my body that i have.
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i was no spring chicken when this happened. i needed to learn how to preserve the function i had as, maintain as long as possible as i age. >> i remember when gary was first injured, was also foreign. -- it was all so forth. just getting him in and out of the bed was a production. trying to get in an and out of , he had this fresh back injury ways by had just been fused and he doesn't have them, the only strength he has come his arms and shoulders. what i never ever thought about when i saw someone in a wheelchair was he doesn't have abdominal muscles. he is very cute abdominal muscles. so not only do you not have your likes him you don't have your abdominal muscles to move around and do those things. when he first got in, we went in and sat on the mat, the high low table and had to learn how to sit again.
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because we just sit come by here to learn how to sit again because he didn't have that muscle and strength. he hit it everyday hard and we figured it out. >> there was one time in particular i was a passenger in a car and speed racer was driving here. [laughing] she took a corner. i wasn't expecting and i just kind of, i flopped over. my head is up against, unlike hey, i'm just a torso over here. [laughing] >> the first time, we probably got a pad maybe after two and half, three years after his first injured to go somewhere. we went to the px and i was very protective of him, of course, anyone to go look at something. magnesium something -- magazines or something. i can't leave him so it's like
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okay, he's not in second grade. he went and i was like i'll find you. i couldn't find because he was so short. [laughing] i was like looking, trying to look over everything but he's down here. i couldn't seem over close racks or anything else. so i was calling him on his cell phone, and didn't answer and didn't answer. about ready to have security go help you look for him. pretty soon i find it and i'm like, i've been calling you and he's like, oh, the phone was on vibrate and it was under my leg. [laughing] we've learned a lot. we learned a lot. >> did you have one final question? okay. so we will thank you so much for sharing your journey with us here at the library, ended when you're in the audience. incredible to meet you. thanthank you so much. it's an honor. [applause]
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>> tonight on booktv, books about international affairs. >> it's part of a week of booktv in prime time on c-span2 jerk. >> sunday on q&a. >> there's a political structure crafted in the 1927 radio act, primary actor hubert hoover secretary of commerce.
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those rules, 90 years ago still govern the way we actually allow resources to be used in our economy today. >> clemson university professor and former chief economist at the fcc thomas hazell it talks about his book the political spectrum which looks at the history and politics of use communications policy. >> when we went to this political system for allocating spectrum rights in 1927, within a couple of years the regulators at the commission are renewing licenses but very carefully noting that propaganda stations will not be allowed. and effect early on 1929 you had left wing stations, if i could use that political term owned by a labor union, a social support
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a station in new york city. they wanted for political purposes, the speech you might say, they wanted to espouse that any. these were dubbed propaganda stations by the regulator. when they were renewed their toll to be very careful about expressing their opinions. >> sunday night at eight easten on c-span's q&a. >> it resulted in the naval victory for the u.s. over japan, just six months after the attack on pearl harbor. and friday american history tv will be live all day from the macarthur memorial visitor center in norfolk, virginia, for the 75th anniversary of the battle of midway. featured speakers include walter boardman.
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>> watch the battle of midway 75th anniversary special live from the macarthur memorial visitor center in norfolk, virginia, on friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> at an event hosted by the american enterprise institute, military and foreign policy analysts talked about iran's power and influence in the middle east. topics include iranian relations with iraq in civil wars in syria and yemen. this is one hour. >> good evening ladies and


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