A campaign is now underway to give a disabled Rockford area veteran a new car. It’s part of a continuing statewide effort.
The current Wheels 4 Warriors fundraiser is led by the Rockford chapter of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois. DeKalb firefighter Noah Millard works on the committee for the parent union’s Warriors Program. It has given away more than a dozen cars to veterans in Illinois since 2012. He said the union wanted to meet a basic need.
“Something very simple that we all take for granted most of the time,” he said, “transportation from point A to point B. And give it to these veterans, to be able to have that, at no cost to them.”
Millard said the program now gets support from the community it serves.
“It’s been a humbling experience for myself to go to these veterans,” he said, “work with them, and then see how much effort they put back into this program, because they see what the program is all about.”
The American-made car given to a disabled veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan is customized to accommodate his or her particular disability.
The Rockford union is inviting disabled veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan to apply for the gift. The application deadline is May 30. The car is to be given away June 6 at the Rockford City Market.
The business Fire Dept. Coffee is selling special edition “Remember Everyone Deployed,” or R.E.D., merchandise on its website for the campaign, with 100 percent of the profits going toward the goal. The union also has a PayPal site where people can make contributions to the program.
Millard said the union is committed to enabling more such campaigns in the future, and hopes to give away cars to at least two Illinois veterans every year.