My Story – Robbie Green

Robbie Green is Goodwill Industries International’s 2014 Achiever of the Year

In March 2008, my buddy was cutting my hair. I felt ill and dizzy. I got up to get some air, fell over and hit my head on a chair. My friend helped me up, put me on the couch and called my daughter. I stood up again and fell, breaking the coffee table, then went into convulsions.

At the hospital, paralyzed, I was told I would never walk again. While at the hospital, a man came in to visit. He was a preacher and preached at a church in an area that my cousins lived. I explained to him how I got injured, and he stated to me, “You know they told me that I wouldn’t walk; but six years later here I stand before you.” At that point, he turned and walked out.

Being a veteran, I transferred over to the VA — that is when my life started over. With the help of the nurses, staff, my determination and drive, I am here today. Even though I was told there is no way that I would walk again, I informed the staff that I know someone higher. At the end of April, I could move one leg; at the end of May, I could move the other. What really confirmed my determination is that one morning I got up forgetting that I couldn’t walk. I made four steps before I realized what I was doing.

I have been given a second chance. I’m trying to correct things and I think God put me here for a reason. I love life now. They told me I would never work, but I’ve been at Goodwill Industries of Forth Worth for almost two years. They told me I wouldn’t drive; I have a van in the parking lot. They told me that I wouldn’t live alone; I have been living alone in an apartment. When I first came to Goodwill, I didn’t know anything about computers. With training and patience from the staff at Goodwill, I learned how to work with hard drives and refurbish computers.

When I go back to the VA, the staff is amazed of all my accomplishments. I was encouraged by a friend and therapist to participate in the National Veteran Wheelchair Games. The first game was in Pittsburgh, PA. I won gold medals in shot-put, javelin, 100-meter race and softball, as well as bronze in 9-ball. The following years I just concentrated on track events. Just last year, I brought home two gold medals and three silver medals. For this year’s competition, I’m going for the gusto and practicing every Thursday.

I also do volunteer work at the VA. I speak with the wounded veterans to help motivate and get them moving. I tell them, “If you don’t use it, you are going to lose it.” Many of them are angry at their situations and ask me why I always have a smile. I tell them it takes a lot of effort to get angry and less effort to smile.

5 comments on “My Story – Robbie Green
  1. CONGRATULATIONS ROBBIE, I HAVE WATCHED YOUR PROGRESS OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. GOODWILL, ROBBIE LIVES IN AN APARTMENT COMPLEX, ACROSS FROM MY TOWN HOME.
    I HAVE WATCHED HIM GO DOWN THE STREET IN HIS ELECTRIC CHAIR, ON THE WAY TO A CONVENIENCE STORE, TO HIS GETTING A VEHICLE TO DRIVE AND HIS SUCCESS AT OVERCOMING HIS DISABILITIES.

    WHAT HAS ALWAYS STRUCK ME IS ROBBIE’S KINDNESS. HE ALWAYS STOPS TO SPEAK, GIVE ME A WAVE, A QUICK HONK ON THE HORN. I AM IN MY FRONT YARD A LOT, AS I HAVE TWO DOGS.

    THIS MORNING HE GAVE ME A QUICK HONK ON THE HORN AND A WAVE. THEN I SAW HIM PUTTING HIS CAR IN REVERSE. I WENT OUT TO THE SIDEWALK AND HE PUT THE WINDOW ON THE PASSENGERS SIDE DOWN. HE ASKED HOW I WAS, AS ALWAYS, AND THEN TOLD ME TO GO TO THE GOODWILL WEBSITE. I ALSO SAW THE BLOG ON GOOGLE SEARCH OF ROBBIE’S STORY.

    I KNEW ROBBIE WORKED AT GOODWILL. I THINK IT IS WONDERFUL THAT GOODWILL HAS A PROGRAM TO HONOR ACHIEVEMENTS MADE BY THEIR EMPLOYEES. I AM SURE HIS COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE WILL HELP OTHER EMPLOYEES TO KEEP STRIVING FOR SUCCESS.

    CHARLENE HANSON

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. It touched me deeply and told me I just need to believe in myself and have faith in God to make a better life for myself. Blessings to you!

  3. You are amazing, Mr Green. So glad you are still here.
    Thank you for all you do for others & yourself.
    Vickilynn Rivera

  4. What a great story of perseverance and faith. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for serving your country. Best wishes to you!

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