Albany Vietnam veteran gifted with new wheelchair ramp

Workers working on the wheelchair ramp.
Workers working on the wheelchair ramp.(WALB)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:53 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 2:26 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Southwest Georgia’s Council on Aging have teamed together to bring one veteran something he’s been needing for a long time.

John Overmeier is a ramp crew member and Marine Corps veteran.

“He (the recipient) is partially disabled. And this is going to enhance his mobility and improve his quality of life,” Overmeier said.

John Overmeier is a ramp crew member & Marine Corps Veteran.
John Overmeier is a ramp crew member & Marine Corps Veteran.(WALB)

Roy Cook is a U.S. Navy veteran and recipient of the wheelchair ramp. He says over the years, he’s had many complications— some from his time in the Navy, and some from old age. He suffers from hip and knee issues and has also had busted ear drums.

“It’s great. It’s going to help me out tremendously. Cause I’ve been needing it for a while,” Cook said. “Those steps are getting to where I couldn’t maneuver them real good. I still try to be independent which is hard to do at this point. But so far it’s working out. This ramp will probably help me a lot doing that.”

Roy Cook is a U.S. Navy Veteran and recipient of the wheelchair ramp.
Roy Cook is a U.S. Navy Veteran and recipient of the wheelchair ramp.(WALB)

Cook says this Veterans Day serves as a reminder of the great community here in Albany. He says his neighbor nominated him to receive the ramp.

“I think the majority of the people here are veterans. We have the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force all represented on the building crew. I’m a Marine, and I’ve been on the ramp crew for three years. Freedom isn’t free. Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans. Let’s keep America free,” Overmeier said.

Veterans at work building the wheelchair ramp.
Veterans at work building the wheelchair ramp.(WALB)

Overmeier said many other veterans are also in need as well.

“Veterans need a lot of help. You see all kinds of ads on the television about veterans’ suicides and inadequate services,” Overmeier said. “Any help that can be provided is necessary. I mean these are people that have sacrificed their life and land for our freedoms today. And anything that the community can do to support them is going to be appreciated.”

Cook says this experience makes him thankful for other veterans too. He fought in Vietnam, and now, he wants the Albany community to fight for its veterans.

“We got good folks here in Albany, Georgia, that help out the older section. And we really appreciate it,” he said. “And I’d like for them to know that. I’ve had wonderful neighbors. They’re all really kind. And they all help me out as much as they can. And I really appreciate them.”

Elliott Cook, Roy’s grandson, says both of his grandfathers served in the military. And that it’s an honor to watch his grandfather receive the wheelchair ramp.

“It feels good because he’s getting recognized for working a hard job and doing things that are hard and dangerous,” Elliot said.

Cook says he appreciates the ramp and all involved. And that he would like to wish all veterans a happy Veterans Day.