Veteran who sustained spinal cord injury receives life-changing gift

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DRACUT, Mass. - After years of service for his country and community, a local veteran is receiving a life-changing gift: a new bathtub.

For Ryan Bugler, getting around his Dracut home isn't easy. A Marine Corps veteran, Bugler sustained a spinal cord injury while working as a firefighter and paramedic in Lexington. 

"I might be in a chair and I might have a spinal cord injury, but I don't let it slow me down," said Bugler.

He continues to be fiercely independent and active in the veterans community, but daily tasks, like taking a shower, have become difficult and even dangerous.

"Trying to get into the shower, I'm either using crutches or using full body weight and it's wet surface," said Bugler.

Bugler says he's never been one to ask for help, he's the one usually giving the help. Growing up the son of a police officer, going into public service has always been more of a calling than a job.

"I've always grown up to know to give back and it's just something you do," said Bugler.

Bugler says, for him, the most rewarding aspect of serving is helping those in need. For the owner of Woburn-based company "New Pro," that is exactly why he offered to renovate Bugler's tub. As a part of the national 'Baths for the Brave' campaign, 10 veterans around the United States have received new bathrooms free of charge as a way of thanking them for their incredible service.

"It's very important to me and I take great excitement in being able to change their lives forever in a safe and positive way," said Anthony Cogliani.

The new tub is more easily accessible. Ryan Bugler told Boston 25 News reporter Stephanie Coueignoux this project means so much more than getting a new tub. For him, it's about coming full circle, from helping those in need to being on the receiving end of that help.

For Bugler, receiving this new shower just days before Veterans Day is incredibly humbling.
 

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