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Disabled veterans get new set of wheels

November 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A group of local businesses pitched in for a special gift for disabled veterans Monday. They restored a 2006 Toyota minivan to be used to transport veterans to and from the doctor."I think it's a great deal. I think we need it very, very much. And God bless everyone that sacrificed whatever they did to get the van," said Ones Evans, a veteran.

The organization Disabled Veterans formed to help wounded veterans get around, a service the U.S. government stopped providing years ago.

Volunteers will use the donated van to drive sick and disabled veterans to their medical appointments. In California there are nearly 100,000 disabled veterans. While local veterans were thrilled to get the van, they said even more help is needed.

"We need more because we have them all over - San Bernardino, Santa Maria, Simi Valley, Los Angeles. And of course we put a lot of mileage on and we need drivers," said veteran Salvador Ayala.

The donation of the van is part of the national Recycled Rides program, which works with sponsors like Mercury Insurance and Valley Motor Center to donate vehicles at no charge to local charities and organizations like Disabled American Veterans during the week of Thanksgiving.

"It's an opportunity to give back to the community. Disabled American Veterans Association is a great cause," said Matt Williams with Mercury Insurance.

Salvador Ayala pointed out the importance of continuing to support our troops and veterans.

"Freedom is not free. Freedom we earn and we are going to support those that are overseas like they support us."


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