Good day everyone,
As many of you know, I am a service connected disabled veteran. Over the years I have dealt with many of the problems that face our veterans when they leave active service. Ongoing pain, isolation, feelings of unworthiness, post traumatic stress resulting from many sources. Many veterans have major problems transitioning back to civilian life. Some of these problems include issues finding and maintaining stable employment, integrating into their local communities, loss of or lack of supportive friends and family and the overwhelming sense of pride that keeps them from asking for help are just a few examples of some of the issues veterans face. Since our country entered the "war on terror" after 9/11/01, the suicide rates of veterans and service members has been on the rise. CLICK HERE
to learn more about veteran suicide rates, provided by a study conducted by the VA.
PTSD, depression and so many other problems facing our nation's veterans are very real problems. Often, these veterans wind up committing suicide because they no longer consider themselves valuable or because they have lost hope.
It is because of this that I have taken on a new "cause" for lack of a better word. A few months ago, one of my customers from this forum let me know about a friend of his who is a veteran that has been diagnosed with severe PTSD and depression among other physical disabilities. This veteran, Vince (He has asked that I not share his last name or other personal private information), for several months would not call me to talk. I wanted to help him out because I was told about the problems he has been having over the years with his fight with the VA to obtain the benefits he was promised as a result of his service. Over the years, Vince has fought against the symptoms of PTSD and his other physical and emotional issues resulting from his military service. Because of this and his inability to find and maintain secure, stable and long term employment, his finances and family life have also suffered like many in his position.
When the member from this forum told me about Vince, he only said that he thought that Vince could benefit from a discount on some brakes for his 99 Chevy Suburban since he thought that they were worn out. Upon finally having the opportunity to speak with Vince last week, it has become clear that his level of need is much more than just a set of brakes for his truck. He has an ongoing fight for his VA benefits, mounting medical bills, lack of funds to fix his Suburban which actually has more problems beyond needing brakes. An instrument cluster that has failed and isn't working, an ignition system that is spotty at best, an electrical bug that is continually draining the battery and more. While Vince would love to take care of these issues so that the truck is safe and dependable for his wife and two children, they are also still paying payments on the truck. With the lack of a quality steady job, the money simply doesn't exist to fix his truck.
Vince's wife is a teacher and they have lived on her income alone for years. However, with other mounting bills and financial troubles, her income has been strained to say the absolute least. But the financial problems they face are only a small part of her own fight. Being the loyal and supporting person that so many refuse to be in this day and age, she has had to sit by and watch Vince's struggle with his disabilities, fight with the VA, depression and other symptoms while the whole time working to support their family. He devotion to supporting Vince and providing for their family is, well, admirable to say the least.
My point? Vince and his wife are at the breaking point. Vince himself is one of those veterans that is at the highest risk or suicide due to the struggles he faces. So, I want to attempt to give back by working with as many wholesale distributors, product manufacturers and others in an attempt to get his Surburban fixed. Now, I am not talking about a "Pimp my ride" sort of thing (although that would be pretty cool). I would just like to work to get his truck fixed for him in an effort to help eliminate some of his stress and to show he and his family that there are indeed still people out there that care. Because of this, I had his Suburban towed to his local GM dealership yesterday and the service department there is currently working on a full diagnostic of the truck. To provide an idea of what they have done so far, they have already had to replace the battery work on the ignition cylinder just to be able to start the truck for electrical diagnostics to hunt down the electrical gremlins. But they are going to be performing a full diagnostic of the entire truck in an effort to find any and all problems it may have to attempt to get those problems fixed. Of course, I have already spent some of my own money to have it towed and what they have done so far with the battery and so forth has already cost several hundred $$$.
But that is part of the reason I am posting this thread. With Christmas fast approaching, I would like to attempt to help Vince and his wife with providing a good Christmas for their two daughters. They have asked that I not share any personal information about their daughters for privacy and security reasons (in this day and age, I don't blame them one bit); but I would like to attempt to sort of take up a "collection" for them. With financial hardships being what they are, I would love to be able to take the next week to collect as much in donations for them as possible and then make the drive with my family as the representatives of those that have donated and deliver cash, Christmas cards, food and whatever else we can provide for them. That being said, below are the ways I am asking for help with this.
First, Christmas cards. I highly doubt there is anyone on this forum who can't afford a Christmas card. SO I would like anyone that will do so to go pick up a Christmas card, address it to "Vince & family" and send it to me at the address below.
580 Boxwood Lane
Galax Va 24333
Second. For anyone that would like to make a donation to either their Christmas "fund" or the work being done to fix Vince's truck, please send your donations either by personal check to the address above with either the word Christmas or Surburban on the Memo line. OR, send your donation to my personal Paypal account as a gift (to avoid Paypal fees) to email address firstname.lastname@example.org
with the note "Christmas donations". If you would like to make a donation toward the work being done to his truck, please send that donation as a gift via Paypal to my company Paypal email at email@example.com
with the note "Truck Donation"
I am not a rich man by any means and Freedom Motorsports Inc is not a large company with limitless capitol. So I need all the help I can get to help make this Holiday season a life changer for this deserving Veteran and his family. I have already done the due diligence to confirm Vince's story, status and so forth, but he needs our help.
I want to say thank you in advance for any and all help provided for this deserving family!
---------- Post added at 10:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:33 AM ----------
UPDATE: I just heard from the dealership. Many of the electrical problems were a direct result of low voltage from a bad battery, so it is nowhere near as bad as we thought it was. All his truck really needs is some good old TLC. SO I have authorized the dealership to fully flush all of his fluids, install new plugs and wires, new serpentine belts, rotate and balance the tires, etc. Basically they are going to be performing all of the needed regular maintenance. This is on top of adding the new battery, etc. The total cost so far for everything that is being done is going to be right at $2K with what has already been done and what is being done.
MORE UPDATES. The following companies have now signed on as cosponsors of the Veteran's Assistance project to help make the Holidays truly bright for Vince and his family. More are on the way, but I wanted to provide a shout out to those that have joined already with their donations!
I have also put up a website for the project as I have now decided to make this an annual project to help a deserving veteran each year for the Holidays. Please check out the website and provide your suggestions, recommendations and donations as you can. Thanks again.