Local inventor gives back to veterans

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- One local inventor has found a way to give back to Veteran's with his very own patented products. His name is Kurt Schneider and Action News first met him a few months ago at a start-up competition for people with business ideas. His creativity has led him to want to change the game of golf while giving vets jobs.

"This is the new Liberator chair and the new Solar Companion by Solar Mobility," said Kurt Schneider.

Schneider designed the wheelchair.

"It has blinking lights, the mirrors, and the cell phone or power port, 12V power charger," he said.

The chair is run off solar power. So it stays charged as long as it's outside. The bottom cushion has laser ported holes that allow cool air to come up, preventing skin degeneration, as well as vibration in the back to keep blood flowing. The chair will be available to all veterans and anyone with Medicare or Medicaid in just five weeks.

On top of the wheelchair, Kurt has created a lightweight golf shaft made of carbon fiber. It's called the Patriot Shaft.

"Right now I have gentlemen that are 70 years old hitting the golf club 327 years, believe it or not," he said.

The shafts are already for sale at Club 72 in Pasco. And to go with the shafts, Kurt is in the process of mass producing new biodegradable golf tees.

"One of my patent attorneys says there's two kinds of people, people that see a problem and deal with it, and those kind of people that see a problem and want to fix it. I'm apparently the second one," said Schneider.

But aside from Kurt's eagerness for being inventive, Kurt is a Veteran. And he has found a way to incorporate both of his passions, into one.

"Basically putting Veterans back to work is the whole idea, that's the whole goal," he said.

Kurt has teamed up with Operation American Patriot. Once there's a little more stability behind Kurt's inventions, the organization has agreed to hire veterans to take on the manufacturing. And, Kurt would give 20% of his team's profits to the foundation.

"It's up to us as parents and uncles and aunts and grandparents to find out what it is that they need. Is it a hug? Is it a PTSD class? Is it peace and quiet? What is it that they need from their experiences abroad that can make them whole again, to be able to restart their life again, and that's pretty much what we are trying to facilitate, to help the VA and our government to try and make America a better place," he said.