Loew’s Employees Fix Wheelchair for Vet after VA Disappoints


By Ann Rowland

It took a thank you letter in a local newspaper to get the VA’s attention but finally, after 2 ½ years, Vietnam veteran Michael Sulsona received the wheelchair.   This story, however, isn’t about the incompetency of the VA but rather the generosity and kindness shown by three employees of Lowe’s towards Sulsona when his wheelchair literally fell apart while shopping at Lowe’s.  They told Sulsona, a double amputee, “We’re not leaving here until the chair is fixed”.

Sulsona lost both of his legs after stepping on a land mine in Vietnam 40 years ago.  When the bolt on his wheelchair broke over two years ago, the VA informed him he wasn’t entitled to a “spare chair”.  His struggles with the VA bureaucracy continued until the kindness of three identified only as David, Marcus and Souleyman captured the hearts of all who heard the story and it was brought to the attention of the VA.

After Sulsona’s chair broke, the three Lowe’s employees placed him in another chair and went to work on fixing his chair.  As Sulsona repeatedly thanked them for their kindness, the three simply said that “It was our honor”.   Forty-five minutes after the store closed, Sulsona left with a chair that was “as good as new”.

“In his open letter to The Staten Island Advance, Sulsona wrote “The actions of these three employees at Lowe’s showed me there are some who still believe in stepping to the plate. They didn’t ask any questions, didn’t feel the need to fill out any forms or make phone calls. Someone needed help and they felt privileged to be given the opportunity. “

Sulsona’s letter received a lot of attention and in subsequent interviews he has referred to the three men as “soldiers of good will” and that Lowe’s is very fortunate to have employees like this on their staff.  The store manager of the Staten Island store where this occurred, Chris DiMaria, said that he couldn’t “be more proud of his team or company.”

The VA has expressed its gratitude for the story being brought to their attention.  However, for Sulsona this story isn’t about the struggles he encountered with the VA .  “This whole story is based around three good guys.  I think it’s really important that we all be like these people who wanted to help me; things would be so much easier,” he said.

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