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THOUSAND OAKS : Story of Woman’s Bravery Wins Award

“The Ada Miller Story,” a dramatic film script about Thousand Oaks resident Ada Miller Myers, has won awards. But author Katie Goode may need a sequel to do Miller’s accomplishments justice.

In October, Goode’s unproduced script for a two-hour movie based on Myers’ life received honorable mention in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s annual writing competition, placing 13th out of 514 scripts. The script, which also won first place in the 1989 Screenwriters Assn. of Santa Barbara competition, is an account of Myers’ experiences as a young war widow and the only female amputee at a naval hospital in the late 1960s, where she inspired wounded Vietnam veterans with her courage and humor.

During high school, the two women worked as waitresses at Little Loops Restaurant in Ventura.

“I had always admired her personality and spunk,” said Goode, 45, now a free-lance writer and substitute teacher in Nevada City, Calif. “After I went away to college, I heard about Ada’s accident from friends. I kept her story in my heart for 20 years before contacting her to do the story.”

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Myers, 46, lost her left leg in a boating accident at age 22, eight weeks after her husband was killed in Vietnam. The accident occurred at Lake Ming in Bakersfield when the boat in which Myers was a passenger hit a wake and shot into the air.

After the accident, Myers remained active, obtaining her private pilot’s license and learning to horseback ride and ski.

She also returned to her job as a fashion coordinator, and later married and had two children with a physician she met during her rehabilitation. After a divorce in 1979, she started and sold a series of successful small businesses. Seven years ago, she married George Myers, whom she credits with introducing her to golf.

“Golf is the most adaptable sport for amputees,” said Ada Miller Myers, vice president of the Western Amputee Golf Assn. (WAGA). In 1984, Myers founded a support group in Thousand Oaks called Amputees Caring Together of Ventura County. She also helped organize amputee golf tournaments. But Myers only started playing three years ago.

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In 1990, she won the Women’s International British Amputee Open championship and has remained the National Women’s Amputee Golf Champion since her initial victory in 1989.

She currently owns a bookkeeping service in Camarillo, but still plays golf at least twice a week.

“Whenever I have thought, ‘Why me?’ ” she said, “I stop and think, ‘Why not me?’ I’m strong enough to handle this or anything.”


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