Wounded warrior achieves dream with help from the community

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Motorcycle riders often say the camaraderie between them is so strong, it's similar to the bonds made in the military. When a wounded warrior was welcomed with open arms by a local motorcycle group, it was only natural that he felt right at home.

What he didn't expect was the support they would give him in fulfilling his dream.

Jeremiah Arbogast, a retired Marine, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. In a moment of hopelessness, he tried to take his own life. His attempt failed and he was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Arbogast lost his ability to walk, but gained a new lease on life.

"It's kind of like a miracle, so you need to do something with it," said Arbogast.

He now uses his struggles as a lesson for others.

"I come to find out that other veterans are dealing with PTSD and since I've lived life and death - literally to the brink - I wanted to stop other veterans from getting as far gone as I was," said Arbogast.

Little did he know, an entire community was ready to help him.

The Patriot Guard offered Arbogast a chance to ride on the back of a Harley motorcycle to the Lt. Dan Band Concert.

"The whole way up, I probably had the biggest smile on my face I've had in a long time," said Arbogast.

"I say I had the itch at that point. So, I decided that I was going to make it a goal to get a bike and show people that just because you may be paralyzed and may be missing limbs, you can do whatever you want to do. It's just a matter of determination," said Arbogast.

"He's an inspiration," said Larry Bothner, Ride Captain of the Patriot Guard.

Bothner got to work and was determined to make Arbogast's dream a reality.

Low Country Harley and Independence Fund helped him get the bike.

Holy City Designs donated their time to install a automatic shifter in the bike. It allows Arbogast to control with his hands, instead of his feet.

"He served our country, so we want to serve him," said Robert Closson, owner of Holy City Designs.

Saturday, his supporters gathered to see Arbogast on his bike for the first time. They said it was a powerful sight that was hard to put into words.

"One of our wounded warriors getting some freedom," said Bothner. "The smile on his face was unbelievable. So, as you can see today, he's one happy person."

"It's very overwhelming and emotional. So, it just shows that America does care," said Arbogast.

Arbogast took is first ride on his new bike shortly after the unveiling. He drove to Myrtle Beach and was accompanied by the Patriot Guard.