OKEECHOBEE — A Vietnam veteran was surprised this week with the gift of a new (to him) vehicle. Local veteran Gregg Maynard said the car was given to him by a local couple, who were given the vehicle at a time in their lives when they needed help. Now that they are on their feet, they wanted to pay it forward with the stipulation it go to a veteran. They are not veterans themselves but come from a family of veterans, Maynard said.
They contacted Maynard, who is known for his willingness to help any veteran, any time and asked him if he knew of someone who could use a vehicle, and of course, he did.
The car had some damage to the front end after a run-in with a deer, and Maynard talked to Eddie Lehman about working on it. Lehman agreed to fix the car with no labor charges and then helped with the cost of parts. Maynard put in his own money and asked for additional help on a local Facebook page, The Scoup, with the remainder of the bill. Within hours, volunteers had the bill covered, dropping money off at Lehman’s the following day.
After the body work was complete, Maynard took the car to Okeechobee High School, where students in Jason Anderson’s automotive class put new tires on, checked out the brake system, put on new belts and hoses, etc. The class worked on the vehicle for free, with Maynard supplying the parts.
The veteran who received the car lives in Moore Haven, and Maynard took it to him on Monday, Jan. 25.
Maynard said he was very appreciative of all the people who volunteered their time and/or money to help with the project. If anyone else has a car they aren’t using, he would be happy to fix it up and get it into the hands of a veteran as well.