COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — If you are looking for a feel-good story this Friday, we got you one.
Lonnie Bedwell is a 57-year-old blind veteran from Indiana. He was in the Chattahoochee River Friday morning as part of the Nature Now Environmental Film Festival.
To learn more about the film festival, click here.
The festival offers everything from film screenings to adventure activities.
For Bedwell, it offers a chance to share his passion.
“Sharing my passing that is my passion,” Bedwell said. “When I got introduced to adaptive sports, outdoor recreational sports, it was because of some other blind veterans coming back from overseas and war. And it just built from there, you know. OK, if they can do this we can do this.”
And Bedwell has done a lot. He has been the subject of a documentary film and he was the first blind person to kayak solo on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Team River Runner works with disabled veterans to offer opportunities just like this. Nick Lilley drove in from Alpharetta to volunteer.
“What you learn from this is you lose a sense – any sense – you gain more of another sense,” Lilley said. “And when veterans work through that – or anybody works through that – they become very independent, and I have found they want to do it for themselves.”
That’s what Bedwell preaches.
“We are no different than anyone else. We want folks to believe in us and give us a chance. That’s what we all want. And that’s what we all need.”