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The Bravest Guy: A True Story of Overcoming Seemingly Impossible Odds

Length: 261 pages3 hours


The Bravest Guy is Don Wedewer’s story. As a 19-year-old infantryman from Dyersville, Iowa, serving in World War II, he was twice wounded in four days in combat. While attempting to aid a fellow injured soldier he stepped on a land mine severing both of his legs and leaving him with vision in only one eye. Four days later, the hospital he was recovering in was hit by a Nazi V-1 “Buzz Bomb,” causing the ceiling to collapse on top of him and leading to his loss of vision in his second eye. On both occasions, Catholic priests conferred final blessings on Wedewer. He had been given up for dead.

With incredible persistence and determination, Wedewer overcame the fact that at 19, he was legless and blind, to become a leader in Florida, as well as nationally, in providing opportunities for those with vision loss. He spent two years in Army hospitals at one of which he met his future wife then only 18. She became his indispensable support system as he gained degrees at the University of Missouri and subsequently had to overcome the institutional barriers that in post-World War II America deprived opportunities to those with vision loss. A brief meeting with the internationally renowned activist Helen Keller cemented Wedewer's determination to succeed and eventually realize for tens of thousands of others Keller’s dream of equitable treatment for those with vision loss. As a state and national leader in providing opportunities for those with vision loss, Wedewer was successively recognized by Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and was awarded the highest honor in the blindness field – the Migel Medal – conferred by the American Foundation for the Blind.

For those who have any connection to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, World War II and other wars, as well as with vision loss, or, whether you are just looking for an inspirational story, this is your book as written by one of Wedewer's sons who in the process discovered much that he had not known about his father.

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