One North Central veteran received a special gift on Veterans Day―a brand new Toyota Rav4.
Rountree Moore Toyota in Lake City and Wells Fargo teamed up with Military Warriors Support Foundation to put Linda Lin behind the wheel of the new vehicle on Thursday.
“I feel excited and happy you guys are here to help celebrate Veterans Day with me,” Lin said.
Lin served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic and now lives in Jacksonville.
Sandy Ignaszewski, director of transition and mentoring for Military Warriors Support Foundation, said the organization has given around 110 vehicles to wounded veterans around the country.
Ignaszewski said the program is special because it doesn’t just drop off a vehicle and leave. Veterans need more support than that.
To qualify for the vehicle program, veterans sign on for one year of mentoring, after which the vehicle title is signed over to them.
Ignaszewski said the program teaches veterans about financial literacy and helps veterans work to pay off debt.
“Financial literacy is extremely important for their success and for their future, and that’s what we try to provide for them,” Ignaszewski said.
Through the organization’s guidance, $24 million in debt has been paid off by veterans.
Military Warriors Support Foundation also has a program to provide houses for veterans. The housing program requires three years of mentoring before the deed is handed over.
“We know that those difficulties are coming, those emergency situations, and we try to help [veterans] prepare for them,” Ignaszewski said.
As for Lin, she said her new Rav4 might be going on a road trip before long.