Canes For Courage was founded in 2012 by retired Combat Veteran Major Steven McAlpin. Steve served as a Special Operations Officer with the 401st Civil Affairs (CA) Battalion in Webster, New York. There, he served as an Assistant and Primary CA Team Chief with first-rotation deployments to both Bosnia in 1996 and Afghanistan in 2002.
After retirement and relocating to Virginia, Steve noticed that a combat-wounded friend was using a Veterans Administration (VA) issued adjustable cane with Iraq and Afghanistan stickers attached to it. Deeming it unacceptable, Steve resolved to use his 30 years of talent and passion to create functional works of art that would not only assist the veteran with walking, but allow him/her to display individual awards and/or beliefs on their totally unique cane or walking stick.
In addition to custom-carved canes, Steve carves walking sticks and individualized custom carvings. Furthermore, Steve has been recognized for his skill as a painter. His most recent painting resides in the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas, TX.
Facing numerous obstacles as an innovative and creative Army Officer, Steve spoke up for his soldiers when their voices were trampled by egos of superior Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers. Steve’s true-life story of his time as a soldier is captured in his soon-to be-published memoir: Outside the Wire: The First American Soldier/Teacher in Afghanistan.