(Glenwood) — One KMAland veteran is hoping for some public assistance in helping him get back to his outdoor passions.
James Dooley, an Omaha native and Glenwood resident, has started a GoFundMe page to assist in purchasing a Rungu electric bike for outdoor activities, including hunting and fishing. Dooley served for nearly 14 years in the United States Marine Corps beginning in 2002, including five deployments in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011 initially working as a motor T mechanic and later as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. Dooley moved to Glenwood two years ago with his family including two children. Dooley tells KMA News the outdoors have always served as a mental getaway for him.
“It’s one of those things that’s always been something that helps me relax and I’ve always just enjoyed it and it’s kind of been my escape,” said Dooley. “I’ve also been diagnosed with pretty bad (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as well and it really helps as far as helping calm all of those issues down.”
Dooley says he had also frequently hosted several other veterans at his home, where he often will ice fish in the colder months — which he sees as a huge mental benefit for him and the other veterans.
However, since 2015 when Dooley was medically retired from the Marine Corps, chronic back issues, including two surgeries and a possible third, have greatly limited his abilities to partake in those various activities.
“Because of that it’s just really, really difficult to get out any enjoy anything — especially hunting,” Dooley explained. “Just carrying the gear and then if I was to actually shoot a deer and getting it back out — I just physically can’t do it.”
After a good amount of research and review, Dooley says the Rungu bike would greatly assist him in several recreational activities.
“It’s a two-wheel fat tire bike in front and then single-wheeled in the back but the stability of it is unmatched as far as electric bikes go,” he said. “It is able to pull a small trailer with it that would be able to hold my gear and or the deer if I was to go hunting and it could also pull my ice fishing shack.”
After feeling the idea of asking for the general public’s help may not have initially been the best-received proposal due to the large cost, Dooley was surprised by the amount of support.
“I have gotten quite a bit more support than I expected,” said Dooley. “Some of it’s my family, but in the last two or three days I’ve been getting a lot of support and donations from people who I don’t even know who they are with a lot more smaller donations — which has been absolutely awesome because I honestly didn’t expect that.”
Dooley’s GoFundMe page is available here. On this Veteran’s Day, Dooley says he appreciates the thanks he has gotten and thanks all of those who have and are currently serving — particularly the older generations, including the Vietnam War-era veterans.