Ford Motor Company is donating seven Ford Flex utility vehicles to the DAV, extending a strong relationship that has assisted disabled military veterans for 93 years.
The vehicles will become part of the DAV Transportation Network that enlists volunteer drivers to take sick and disabled veterans to VA medical centers across the country. They will be deployed to DAV locations in Little Rock, Arkansas, Iowa City, Iowa, Iron Mountain, Michigan, Omaha, Nebraska, Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah and Seattle, Washington. Since 1996, Ford has donated 199 vehicles to the DAV fleet.
“Transportation and community service are two important areas where Ford excels,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We are proud to be able to help these heroes of freedom get the critical services they need to make their lives better.”
In addition to the new Ford Flex vehicles, Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is sponsoring DAV 5K walks this fall in Atlanta, Cincinnati and San Diego. Ford Fund also is continuing support for the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to deserving young men and women who have generously volunteered their time to help disabled veterans in their community.
This past spring, Ford supported the DAV Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The company will again partner with Project SNAP to engage veterans and the public to draw messages of thanks to active military members that will become part of this year’s Operation Grateful Nation mural. The artwork from last year’s event is currently on display at the Pentagon.
“We are extremely proud of our long partnership with Ford Motor Company,” said DAV National Commander Ron Hope. “Ford is an American institution and we’re grateful they continue to support the men and women who preserve the American way of life we hold sacred. Without this donation many of these veterans would go without the medical care they earned.”
Ford Motor Company and the DAV have been working together to help the nation’s wounded military veterans since Henry Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model T vehicles to take disabled veterans to the 1922 DAV national convention in San Francisco.
Ford’s support for veterans continues to evolve to meet their changing needs. Earlier this year, Ford collaborated with National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. on the Freedom’s Sisters REBOOT Workshop that helped women veterans address the unique challenges they face transitioning out of the military.
Ford Fund also sponsors Honor Flights to transport World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. and featured a special salute to the nation’s military called Focus on Freedom during this year’s Ford Fireworks in Detroit. The event included a special reception for veterans and their families, plus a thrilling flyover by vintage World War II-era planes.
Since 1974, Ford and Ford Fund have provided nearly $9.3 million to veterans’ organizations.
Ford today employs more than 7,000 veterans plus hundreds of active military personnel, reservists and guardsmen.