In 2014, we spoke with Scotti Lee, former Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) board member, and Joan Cote, president of USO Delaware, about their work with the USO and the passenger van that they gave away to a serviceman in need and his family. As you may recall, Lee is a United States Air Force veteran who has also been a longstanding, active member of USO Delaware.
As of today, they have given away three vehicles and are currently in the process giving away a fourth. Lee continues to take the vehicles over to DelCastle Technical High School in Wilmington, Delaware, so the students can do a lot of the repairs for him. They also continue to receive support from Meineke, Valvoline, Bob Falter with Jiffy Lube and a few other local sponsors in the area.
“We supply the cars and we stay completely clear of whoever is going to get them. The military knows who needs them the most. We go over to a military base and make the presentation there with a Major General. From there, we go outside and have a quick ceremony where we pass the keys to the new owner,” Lee said.
One of the servicemen who received a vehicle was transferred a long way from home and had to catch a bus at his own expense to get to work. He had to take a two-hour bus ride to get into town and then catch another ride to headquarters. Once the day was finished, he had to repeat the process to get home. Having a car really alleviated that stress.
He went to on say, “These cars that we’re presenting these people, really help out the families. A lot of these families’ cars are falling apart. Most people don’t know our military personnel are very loyal to us and put their lives on the line. They don’t receive enough for all that they do.”
Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, caught wind of what Scotti Lee was doing for these servicemen and women and took notice.
Lee said, “Joe knew that I was helping out the military, and he called me up one day and said he’d like to send something over to me. Then, one of his aids came over to the house and presented me a nice box with cufflinks. The Biden’s feel very strongly about the military and their families, so they appreciate what we do.”
Lee is happy to continue working with the USO and said, “I wish more people in the fast lube industry would think of our military people. They are underpaid and under respected for what they do. I would encourage people to do something for the military and their families.”
We look forward to hearing more of these touching stories and appreciate all that the USO does for our dedicated servicemen and women.