Lonnie Bedwell spent nine years in the Navy. Three years after he left the service, a hunting accident robbed him of his sight, the Charleston, WV Gazette-Mail reports.
But it didn't slow him down much. Lonnie has kayaked the Zambezi River and the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He also sails, snow skis and water skis. And yes, he still hunts.
He told the Gazette-Mail that he wanted to run West Virginia's New River, famous for its fierce rapids, “because I’d rafted it back when I was in college, but I’d never run it in a kayak.”
“Also, I’m scouting the river with the idea of bringing in four or five blinded military veterans to run it with me later this summer.”
Lonnie recounts how he lost his sight.
“It was May 4, 1997. I had killed a turkey the day before, and I went out to call for my best friend. We were working our way back together. I didn’t see him, and he didn’t see me. He saw a turkey, but when he shot, he ended up shooting me.”
He was struck in the face with 85 shotgun pellets.
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