Name: Shane Heath
Branch of Service: Army
Question & Answer
QL+ Challenge: Adaptive Guitar Pick (affectionately called "Hero's Guitar"). Shane was injured in May 2007 during his third deployment to Iraq. As a result, his left arm below the elbow was amputated and his left leg above the knee amputated. Shane is re-learning how to play guitar. He currently uses a hard-plastic band that goes around his arm that holds an alligator clip. He puts the guitar pick into the clip. Student engineers at Trine University are designing and building an adaptive guitar pick device.
What was your job in the military? Airborne Infantry
After your injury/disability, what was the most significant hurdle you overcame? I think for me all the biggest hurdles were mental. Just realizing that, despite the injury, I could still have a pretty normal life. I could still do almost everything I enjoyed doing prior to the injury. That helped me to put things in perspective and not become angry or bitter about what had happened.
How will the QL+ device the students are creating, improve your quality of life? For the past several months I've been working on relearning guitar and how to play left-handed. The device my team is working on will help me to have a more natural strumming motion, and will also allow me to better balance the guitar while sitting and playing.
What has it been like so far, working with QL+ students and participating in the program? My team has been absolutely incredible! They are hardworking, dedicated, and enthusiastic. After every weekly meeting, I'm just left in awe.
What motivates you? Living the best life I can while trying to help inspire others.
Do you have any words of wisdom for our QL+ Students? I guess I'd share one of my favorite quotes. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne
If you were writing a book about yourself, what would be the title? I Have No Clue What I'm Doing (But I Fake It Pretty Well)
Follow the link to enjoy some wonderful music!
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.