COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A local veteran says his normal changed in an instant after a car crash left him quadriplegic.
While most would have a hard time adapting, Weldon Walker says his 20 years in the military perhaps helped him to embrace the change with an inspiring degree of optimism.
Weldon was raised in Colorado Springs and graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1977. He served the next 20 years on several Air Force bases: doing missiles at Whiteman, getting his masters in space operations at Wright-Patterson, serving as an operations officer at Offutt and Anderson, and ending his career at Schriever.
“I was one of the first people whenever Space Command was started,” said Walker.
His life runs at a different pace now.
“I worked in a yarn shop in Colorado Springs, and I taught weaving, knitting and crocheting,” said Walker. “It’s really frustrating because now, here I am sitting around all the time, and I can’t knit.”
He can’t knit because of what happened to him almost nine months ago to the day.
“You remember that snowstorm we had the end of May? Yeah. I was driving home from work about 10 o’clock at night, and had a real minor car accident,” Walker said. “I hit my head right about where the front window and the roof meet, and it just snapped my head back.”
It snapped, causing immediate damage to the spinal cord that resulted in quadriplegia and a need for 24/7 personal care. There is, however, a chance it may heal.
“In a spinal cord unit, you don’t get any promises,” Walker said.
However, day by day, he takes progress over perfection.
Walker often uses the pronoun “we” when referring to the journey since his accident. He’s referring to his partner of 25 years, David.
“It was literally from one second to another that I had a new normal… It would be very easy for a partner or a spouse to walk away from this,” Walker said.
Instead, David has been by his side, every step of the way. The two have three children, ages 41, 40 and 39.
Walker was named our February Hero of the Month. He also received a $750 Visa gift card from our sponsors Rocky Mountain Honda Dealers, the Leo Hill Charitable Trust and the Colorado Veterans Project.