It's simple: If Bob Thurman sees something that needs to be fixed, he goes about trying to fix it.

It's simple: If Bob Thurman sees something that needs to be fixed, he goes about trying to fix it.

"I'm the kind of person -- if something's not right, let's do something to fix it," said Thurman, who was honored with the Henderson Award for Community Service by the Northwest Civic Association on April 22. "If you see something that needs to be done, don't wait on the next person to do it."

That was the attitude Thurman, vice president of the Northland Community Council, took on last fall after battling with his wife's insurance company for a prosthetic leg after his leg was amputated.

Though Thurman was covered under the existing policy, the policy was undergoing changes, and the company refused to cover the $18,000 cost of a prosthetic leg.

After going back and forth, the insurance company agreed. Despite the concession, the process took a toll on Thurman.

"I went through a short period of time where I was really depressed," Thurman said. "I wanted my leg. I wanted to be up walking."

The experience encouraged Thurman to see if other amputees had to go through what he went through to get insurance coverage for their prosthetics. He found there were many stories like his own.

"I learned what people go through, and I know that I would have been devastated, with all I do, to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair," he said.

To face the problem head on, Thurman created Buckeye Amputees for Action.

Through the nonprofit group, Thurman has worked to encourage legislation that would make it easier for amputees to get prosthetics through their insurance providers. He has worked with state Rep. Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) and expects the legislation to be introduced to the Ohio House within the next few weeks.

The group, with a board of four trustees, also is working to encourage Ohio colleges to create programs for prosthetists. Currently, students have to leave the state to enter the field.

Thurman also hopes the group will be able to help amputees who are uninsured get the prosthetics they need, either by steering them to organizations that can help or by offering funding themselves.

Thurman's wife, Lynne, nominated him for the Henderson Award, which recognizes those who have provided outstanding volunteer service that improves local neighborhoods.

"Bob just has this unique way of connecting with people," Lynne Thurman said. "He is just the most generous, kind-hearted person I know. He's always thinking of someone else."

Mark Krietemeyer, part of the NWCA's nominating committee, said Thurman was chosen from a field of quality candidates.

"Bob's long-term, ongoing community service is impressive to everyone," he said. "He definitely is inspirational."

Few would argue that Thurman has left a profound mark on the communities he's served.

Among his accomplishments, he founded the Civic SAM (which stands for Stygler, Agler and McCutcheon), a civic association in Gahanna. He worked with the Lions Club in that community on several efforts, including giving baskets to soldiers serving in the Gulf War and Homeless Night Out, during which volunteers and city officials spent the night collecting money, food and clothing for homeless shelters and food pantries.

The Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard veteran said all of the organizations he's worked with over the years have shaped who he is.

"Every step along the way, there's been a group that I've tried to learn something from," Thurman said. "The military taught me to be self-sufficient and a take-charge kind of person."

The Lions Club, he said, taught him to give back, something he said he hopes to teach younger generations.

"Pay it forward has always been my motto because we have to give back to this country that gave us the freedoms we have," he said.

Thurman, 62, who is retired after working 40 years with Lucent Technologies, said many of the people in his life have helped with the work that he does.

"I've never won an award on anything in my life," Thurman said. "I've got a lot of people that I can call on."