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GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson to give truck to Achilles Freedom Team

chevy silverado (select to view enlarged photo)
2014 Chevrolet Silverado

PHILADELPHIA--Dec. 13, 2013: During Saturday’s 114th Army-Navy Game, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson will present a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country 1500 crew cab pickup truck to the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans.

The truck will be used to haul hand cycles and equipment to Walter Reed-Bethesda Naval Center for athlete training, and to regional competitions.

Chevrolet has been the Official Vehicle of the Army-Navy Game since 2010 and recently extended its support through 2016.

“This Silverado is capable of amazing things, but I can’t think of a higher calling for it than helping wounded veterans rebuild their lives,” said Akerson.

Through the Achilles Freedom Team, more than 1,000 veterans disabled in war are overcoming life-threatening injuries by participating in marathons and other athletic feats. Members set goals and train in hand cycles or on their prosthetics, and compete as a team in mainstream road races and marathons around the country and internationally.

Achilles International founder Dick Traum and Achilles team members will accept the keys to the truck.

“Thanks in part to Chevrolet’s generosity, our team members are rechanneling their competitive spirit and proving that there is life after a devastating injury,” said Traum.

At last year’s Army-Navy Game, Chevrolet introduced two prototype hand cycles designed to meet the unique needs of wounded athletes and withstand punishing travel conditions. The cycles were developed by senior engineering students at Michigan Technological University with help from GM engineers. One cycle was refined and operated by an Achilles athlete in October’s Detroit Free Press-Talmer Bank International Marathon in Detroit.

Three-wheel hand cycles allow athletes to sit with their remaining lower limbs in front of them while pumping the wheels on handlebar cranks with their hands or prosthetics. For veterans who are amputees or who have sustained other serious injuries, this is often a better solution for racing than a traditional racing wheelchair.

In 2010, GM donated cycles and a Chevrolet Silverado for hauling them. Chevrolet also underwrites several Achilles Freedom Team competitions throughout the country.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. EST on CBS. The Silverado donation will take place during a first-quarter timeout and will be televised later in the game.