Last week two U.S. military veterans, both injured in combat, were given a hand in rebuilding their lives, thanks to the work of Cars4Heroes with support from the Kansas City Region of Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO). David Messer, Region Manager, along with area managers, store managers and employees across the region have over the years donated tires, parts and repair services to prepare hundreds of donated vehicles for presentation to veterans and their families during times of need. The teams have hosted more than 20 such presentations.
The late September vehicle repairs and Cars4Heroes presentations were facilitated by Carol Mier, Independence Area Manager, and Chris Shew, Tulsa Area Manager and took place at the Firestone Complete Auto Care (FCAC) stores on East 71st Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma and on Conley Road in Columbia, Missouri.
Vinnie Green, Service Manager, took the lead in Columbia to prepare a Honda SUV which was donated by a couple in the community. Vinnie oversaw a thorough inspection, the completion of repairs and scheduled maintenance services and the installation of new tires. The SUV was presented by "Car Santa" from Cars4Heroes to former service member, Lonnie, and his family during the Conley Road FCAC Grand Opening celebration. FM93.9 The Eagle radio covered the event during a live remote broadcast and on Facebook Live.
After the vehicle was presented, Vinnie was interviewed by radio personality Matt Michaels and he took the opportunity to share his passion for the program to the station's listeners. "Members of the military and first responders take care of us, and we like to take care of them," said Vinnie. "It's a really good feeling to help one of these heroes get back on their feet after having made such sacrifices in service to our country."
In reflecting on the ongoing relationship with Cars4Heroes, David said, "I am proud to work for an organization that encourages us to get involved in giving back. Many of our employees are active or veteran members of the military and this program means a lot to them and to all of us."
Cars4Heroes is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Olathe, Kansas. Since 1996, they have partnered with community businesses, media outlets and individuals across a wide area to provide free, reliable transportation to veterans and veterans' family members who cannot otherwise obtain needed transportation.