Name: Chris Macklin
Branch of Service: Army
Question & Answer
QL+ Challenge: Stable Ankle Brace. Chris was injured in December 1989. He fractured his left ankle while on maneuvers in Alaska at Fort Richardson. Chris states, "I remember getting out of the helicopter and trying to put on my snowshoes and then realizing there was a problem." Chris is working with engineering students at the University of Cincinnati on an ankle brace that will stabilize his ankle and provide him with increased mobility.
After your injury/disability, what was the most significant hurdle you overcame? My biggest barrier at first was trying to stay in the Military, having a family, and no real skills that would transfer into civilian occupations. I tired my best to continue and press through all activities and PT test to remain on active duty.
How will the QL+ device the students are creating, improve your quality of life? The QL + Stable Ankle Brace would give me the stability I need to regain some mobility & freedoms to do family activities. Most importantly, giving me the ability to spend time with my grandchildren playing at the parks, amusement parks, playing toss, shooting baskets, and going on school trips as a chaperone.
What has it been like so far, working with QL+ students and participating in the program? So far my experience has been remarkable. The students have motivated me and given me a glimmer of what life could be with the QL+ device. They have incorporated my ideas and listen to my concerns, previous experiences, and what has worked.
What motivates you? My motivations are advocating for Veterans that are also struggling with the psychical and mental issues related to their service. I strive to be a beacon of hope, and inspiration to be impactful on the overall wellness of any Veteran I may have contact with.
Do you have any words of wisdom for our QL+ Students? My words of wisdom are “Keep Chopping Wood." Don't allow barriers, challenges, and setbacks to stop you from accomplishing your dreams. Every idea is a great idea that may need more development or thought process but keep swinging the ax.
If you were writing a book about yourself, what would be the title? Look at the Man in the Mirror.
The goal of our Challenger Salute is to honor the service and sacrifice our Challengers made for our country. We are very grateful that they have agreed to participate in our program. Their participation is helping us to “build” better students. They are providing our students with real-world experience and arming them with the tools they need to succeed once they graduate.
The goal of our Challenger Salute is to honor the service and sacrifice our Challengers made for our country. We are very grateful that they have agreed to participate in our program. They are providing our students with real-world experience and arming them with the tools they need to succeed once they graduate.