Justin McLoud watched the progress of a swimming pool taking shape just down the street from his Festus, Mo. home and thought he’d like to own one someday – this in spite of the fact that the he had no legs and only one arm. It was Wideman Pool’s honor to install a 13,000 gallon fiberglass pool for the medically retired Marine Corporal and his 4-year-old son, Desmond, and did the job at a significant discount.
The project was being paid for by the Sempi Fi Fund which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Wideman Pools wanted to save the organization as much money as it could. The firm trimmed the cost of labor and worked closely with suppliers who generously donated equipment, or offered products at reduced rates. Rodney Wideman, sales manager, estimates they delivered the pool several thousand dollars below cost. The project was completed in August.
Cpl. McLoud was on his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 when a brother in arms stepped on an improvised explosive devise while on a foot patrol. The blast resulted in the loss of both legs above the knee, and later, the amputation his severely wounded left arm, according to Homes for Our Troops, which built McLoud a specially-adapted mortgage-free home.
It was important to McLoud to continue to stay active.
“He was told a pool would be good exercise for him,” Wideman said. “It’s a Calypso from Trilogy and has an 18-inch shallow end, which he really likes because he has a young son, and with him being a triple amputee, it’s a good spot for both of them to be in the water, but not be in over their heads.”
Wideman said that McLoud may coordinate with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to pay for the cost of an ADA accessible pool lift, though the agile 28-year-old may not even need it.
“He can get in and out of it on his own. He’s very capable,” Wideman said. “For having one arm he gets around a lot better than you might think.”
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