Vietnam vet gifted new wheelchair after theft in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Vietnam veteran in town on vacation had his only means of transportation taken Wednesday. Someone stole his wheelchair.

Every year, Robert Jones and his family make the trip for family vacation from Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach.  This year is no different, except what the family is going through this time.

On Wednesday, the Jones family went shopping at the Town Center K-Mart. Jones decided to use one of the store’s motorized scooters to get around. An employee told him he would watch his wheelchair until he was done.

“When I come back there was another wheelchair there, but it wasn’t mine. In fact, it was a child’s wheelchair,” Jones said. “It doesn’t make sense to me, because there is no reason as far as I’m concerned to take a wheelchair.”

“This is like our one and only time when we can relax and then when something like this happens, it does throw mental stability into the chaos,” Jones’ daughter Susan Bird said.

Jones proudly wears his service.

“I was in the Navy from 1967 to 70,” Jones said.

He served in Vietnam and some doctors believe Agent Orange could be the reason he can’t walk.

10 On Your Side received tons of phone calls and Facebook messages after Jones’ story aired on WAVY-TV 10. One of those phone calls was from Maria Norbeck. She bought a chair for Jones and on Wednesday night, Tycon Medical delivered it to him at the rental house where he and his family are staying.

Beach Power Mobility is also letting Jones borrow a wheelchair to use on the beach, as well as a power chair.

If you’d like to donate to Jones and his family, call 724-987-3769.