A 9-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who now serves his local community, received a welcome surprise when an anonymous donor, along with a local autobody shop, gave him a jeep, complete with 4×4 capability and air conditioning.
Tennessean Jerrold Eaton previously served four years of active duty in the Army, one year in the Army Reserves, and four years in the National Guard. But since returning to civilian life, he’s been serving several of his elderly neighbors.
“Jerrold gets something in this hand and goes out to someone else in that hand, he doesn’t hold onto things,” McNeill said. Eaton serves as Officer of the Day at D.A.V. Tri-County Chapter 26.
Eaton drives his neighbors to doctor’s appointments, mows their laws, and even drives them to and from the grocery store.
However, Eaton’s Ford F-150 made it difficult for his elderly passengers to get in and out, and the fact that the truck lacked air conditioning presented a risk for his health-impaired neighbors who are unable to endure long trips.
Then in a stroke chance, a woman whose father had died walked into Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair in Corryton to donate her vehicle, a 2012 Jeep Liberty, and told them she wanted it to go to someone in need.
She wished to remain anonymous.
But the owners of the auto shop, Wendy Caldwell and her husband, learned that her father had been a veteran who had served in Vietnam.
“As we learned more and more about her dad, we found out he was a proud Vietnam veteran,” Caldwell told the news outlet. “We took the vehicle, did repairs, a tune-up, brakes, tires but we really didn’t know how to give it away.
“So, we contacted the mayor’s office and they contacted a veteran’s organization. They gave us the name, Jerrold, who we gave the car to.”
And that’s how the newly refurbished Jeep found its way into Eaton’s possession, where it would go to good use, allowing him to continue to serve the people he helps. The donation was well received and entirely unexpected. Eaton had expected “a Pinto or something,” he said.
Going forward, he has every intention of continuing his service to the ones who matter most.
“I’m continuing to do my work for the Lord, my community and my fellow veterans,” Eaton said. “I’m extremely blessed and happy to be that way.”
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