This is the second year that Caliber Collision has partnered with Carry The Load to help ease the burden for veterans by donating vehicles. In addition to the technicians who donated time to repair the vehicles, Caliber Collision associates from corporate offices and 34 centers throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin areas also raised funds for the Carry The Load’s Memorial March. Caliber Collision raised more than $25,000 in contributions to support Carry The Load programs and activities in 2014.
The four veterans who received vehicles are:
■ Eric McNary, an ex-Army financial management technician who has had difficulties adjusting to civilian life and finding employment. He received a 2009 Toyota Camry, which will help his commute to a new job at Bank of America.
■ Diana Cuesta, a former Air Force sergeant, did not expect to be a single parent, homeless, with five children. She has now found employment and a home, and with a 2010 Kia Forte from Caliber Collision’s Recycled Rides, will be able to better provide for her family.
■ Freddie Nash, a former U.S. Navy seaman, had a steady career as a plumber until an injury left him struggling financially. He received a 2008 Lincoln MKZ, which will help expand his employment opportunities.
■ Daniel Escamilla, a former Air Force traffic controller, was comfortably providing for his family until his employer of 15 years sold the company and left him unemployed. With just one vehicle, his wife often waits up to four hours after work for a ride. Their Recycled Ride gift, a 2001 Infiniti OX4, will help ease transportation challenges for Daniel, his wife and nine grandchildren.
This year’s recipients were nominated by Allies In Service and Attitudes & Attire, two local Dallas/Fort Worth veteran support organizations.
“Having access to reliable transportation is often the single most important resource many families need to get back on the road to financial stability,” said Steve Grimshaw, CEO of Caliber Collision. “Through our Recycled Rides program and gifting at the 2014 Carry The Load event, we have the opportunity to restore the meaning of Memorial Day while providing four military veterans in need with vehicles that can help restore them to the rhythm of their lives.”
Since starting its Recycled Rides program in 2012, Caliber Collision has donated more than 30 vehicles to military veterans and others in need. The company plans to donate more than 20 vehicles in 2014.