Vietnam War veteran Hurley Whitehurst is able to access the local community again thanks to a Breeze S4 Max.
Born in New York and serving in the United States Air Force for 28 years, Hurley was a theatre nurse and medical technician stationed all over the world. During the Vietnam War he worked closely with surgeons at Cam Ranh Bay and Nha Trang at the southern end of the country.
"I never dreamt I would make medical school, let alone go on to help so many fellow service personnel,” he said. “I'm no hero, though. Vietnam will live with me forever. I will never forget the heat and the things I saw. I still hope one day to go back and see where I served.”
A decade after the war ended, he and his wife relocated from California to Suffolk to be stationed at RAF Lakenheath. He stayed there until his retirement from the armed forces, before serving on a different frontline – this time as a theatre nurse for the NHS.
Hurley’s resilience to challenging situations down the years has resulted in a steely determination to remain independent during later life. With mobility becoming increasingly difficult – forcing early retirement from the health service – he went in search for solutions at The Mobility Roadshow in Peterborough.
It was that event where he took a test drive of the Breeze S4. He enjoyed the experience so much, he followed it up with ownership of a Breeze Max. Not content with the extra torque, wider seat and upgraded suspension this gave him, he also opted for a GT upgrade with wider rear wheels.
"I take pride in being self-reliant however as you get older you do need to ask for help sometimes,” he said. “Having to take early retirement has been tough for me as I was part of the equation for so long. Without my scooter, life would be even harder. I get so many fantastic comments when out and about, people say 'wow man, is that for real?'. I'm always patient with pedestrians and say thank you with a wave when they let me through."
With his Breeze Max, Hurley is now able to access the local town centre, park and doctor surgery and continues to be grateful for all the experiences that his air force career and everyday life have brought him.
The Suffolk countryside might be a world away from the days of Vietnam, but Hurley continues to win his own battles.