These veterans have struggled since they returned from serving the United States. Both from Long Island and residing with their children and spouses, they began to feel the pain of not having a vehicle.
From walking to doctor’s appointments for their sons, to struggling to buy food, to using their last monies for the bus fare, the two veterans were hit with challenge after challenge. It became imperative that this holiday season, they were granted something that could help them fight those personal battles.
These two individuals selected to receive a vehicle from the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) Recycled Rides Program were nominated by the VA and VFW (Veterans of Foreign War). Each individual was presented keys to his new vehicle during the breakfast ceremony, where tears of happiness were shed.
The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, at the United Veterans Beacon House on the grounds of Northport VA Medical Center.
The cars were donated by GEICO Insurance and repaired by The Collision Centers’ employees, who donated and volunteered their time. Parts, paint and other material were donated to create an industry collaboration through the NABC’s Recycled Rides Program.
The Recycled Rides Program creates an opportunity for the collision industry to come together with likeminded organizations to raise awareness and offer support to those who need and deserve it most.
Many are involved in the granting of a vehicle---from insurers, to collision shops, to parts vendors, to veteran service organizations. The program brings people together to make a positive change for others and ensures deserving citizens without safe and operational vehicles have cars or vans that meet their needs and the needs of their families.
Today, a veteran mother can take and pick up her twins to school without worry. And a father can focus on getting to work, taking his children to doctor’s appointments and creating opportunities for his family that he had not been able to, by having a safe vehicle to drive.
Joe Amodei, Recycled Rides Co-Chair, NABC Board Member, and President of The Collision Centers is proud of the organizations’ years-long work to honor and support America’s veterans and their families.
“Veterans who served our nation bravely in both wartime and peacetime deserve our respect and our assistance as they make the transition from military to civilian life,” he said. “Having a safe, well-operating vehicle should not be one of the challenges they face coming home.”
During the ceremonies, past State Commander Dennis Sullivan of the VFW also presented a check to the United Veterans Beacon House for its advocacy and care of America’s veterans.
The ability to bring multiple organizations together for one cause is the true meaning of the holidays.
The continued goal is to bring awareness and support to those people and veterans who are struggling every day. The Dec. 21 Recycled Rides event is one of many being held nationwide as part of the NABC, with plans to celebrate many more people.