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Double-Amputee Vietnam Veteran’s Van Stolen On Staten Island

Vet: 'I Lost My Legs And I Moved On...It's Part Of The Game'
Vietnam veteran Mike Sulsona (credit: CBS 2)

Vietnam veteran Mike Sulsona (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Vietnam veteran who lost both of his legs in a land mine explosion has lost his ability to get around after thieves stole his specially outfitted minivan Friday night.

Mike Sulsona, 60, told CBS 2’s John Slattery that he relies on his eight-year-old van for transportation every day.

The Graniteville, Staten Island resident said the minivan was outfitted with special hand controls so he could drive it.

Sulsona said the van was stolen from right outside his apartment.

“To me, this is another bump in the road. This is just part of living in a wheelchair,” Sulsona told Slattery.

Sulsona said a witness recognized one of the suspects who drove off with the van. Police said they picked up a 17-year-old for questioning.

The double-amputee said he does not want anyone prosecuted in the theft, he just wants his van back.

“You can’t be devastated by this one situation in life. I lost my legs and I moved on. They took my car. It’s part of the game,” Sulsona told Slattery.

The veteran also said he is concerned about one of the thieves trying to operate the van with its hand controls.

“They could get in serious trouble, they could get in a bad accident or hurt someone,” Sulsona said.

Insurance will not cover the cost of a new van for Sulsona but the charitable organization ‘Where to Turn’ said it plans to contact its 15,000 members for donations to get him a new specially equipped van.

Sulsona’s van has so far not been located by authorities.

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