Ronald Seaman is an Army Veteran who served in the military for 25 years. His military career ended due to nerve damage and severe central vertigo which put him in a wheelchair. Once he regained some health in 2013, his son, Ronald III, introduced him to cosplay. Seaman decided to read up on cosplay after his son introduced him to it. His interest was piqued.
“In two weeks I made my first Ironman suit,” Seaman said. The best part for Seaman was that it kept him active. “I was staying out of bed,” he explained. Cosplay built his strength physically and mentally. Seaman also found out that his niece was involved in Cosplay and encouraged him to go to a cosplay convention in Tampa back in 2013. He constructed his first “Gears of War set up” for the convention. When building any of these cosplay outfits, Seaman uses ingenuity and problem solving skills as he has to build within and even around his wheelchair.
At the convention, crowds hovered over him, amazed about how ingenuous his Gears of War concept was. “I did about five interviews,” Seaman remembers. The experience, attention and new friendships during the con gave him a whole new direction and drive in life. It enabled him to view life creatively and give inspiration to others as well.
His character, Iron-Merman, is a nod to his career in the First Armored Division with the "Iron Warriors" combined with his last name. "So Iron Merman it had to be. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing, and it just took off,” Seaman said. “No matter whatever I had new, everyone (said) aren’t you the Iron Merman guy?”
He is also involved with the MUCH (Makers United for Children’s Hope) Foundation, a non-profit organization where volunteers dress up as superheroes and visit children in hospitals. “I am very proud to be able to tell people that I am a part of the MUCH Foundation. It is exactly the kind of thing I stand for and believe in. It is really good to be involved with this…you know you are doing something worthwhile and just seeing how happy you make these kids feel, it gives them something to look forward to,” Seaman said.
With foam board, cardboard, gorilla tape, tools and an eye for creation, Ronald Seaman has found a place where he can overcome his challenges and bring inspiration to others through Cosplay. “It helps me in so many ways. Before that I didn’t have the strength, holding these things, (tools), working my hands… it is better than the physical therapy.”
Check out Ron’s cosplay page here.