Group helps Bethlehem veteran who was wounded in combat

WFMZ-TV | Bo Koltnow | November 11, 2020 | Link to Article

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - For Bethlehem's Dan Lasko, his family defines his present and future, but being a veteran defines this 37-year-old's past.

"I'm proud. I've been through a lot. In Afghanistan I lost my leg below the knee due to an IED," he said.

While recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center, the then-21-year-old Marine was first approached by the Semper Fi and America's Fund.

"They helped make my bathroom at home handicap accessible. It's anything to improve veterans' quality of life," he said.

The charity provides any kind of emergency resource for those wounded while serving. Case worker Janine Canty says they do it by listening instead of asking.

"If you ask somebody if they need help, they always say they're doing okay, so you just kind of ask them, 'what's going on with you,' and then try to get a sense of what they are experiencing and not telling you," she said.

For Lasko, a healthy recovery meant playing sports.

"The fund provides you all the resources, equipment, registration fee and support for you and all your events," he said.

Lasko now enters marathons and triathlons and competes on the Wounded Warriors football and softball teams. He now advocates and promotes mental and physical health to other veterans.

Call him a professional volunteer of goodwill. His main message to other wounded vets?

"Life may not be the same as it was but a lot to look forward to," he said.