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Two St. Louis-area families who are serving their country in the Air Force and Navy received special gifts from the region’s 11 CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts facilities Thursday at the Troy, Ill., Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair stores throughout the St. Louis region partnered with the VFW to recognize servicemen and women for their service by helping those in need of automotive assistance. Through the program, troop members sent their stories to “Molly’s Adopt a Soldier”. Two deserving servicemen were selected and the CARSTAR St. Louis Business Group members went to work to raise funds to meet their needs.
Joshua Riley, U.S. Air Force E3 at Scott Air Force Base, his wife Kerri and their two children received a rehabbed 2002 Chevy Malibu restored by CARSTAR and donated by Bruce Duvall, Travelers Insurance claims supervisor. The vehicle will allow the Rileys to visit their family in Texas, where their young son can meet his relatives for the first time.
Robert Ishum, U.S. Navy, Builder Petty Officer Second Class and Recruiter for the St. Louis District, and his wife Corinne were presented a $2,400 gas card from CARSTAR the equivalent of one year’s worth of gas to allow him and his family to visit their prematurely born son at Cardinal Glennon Hospital.
“We all want first to recognize the men and women serving our country in the armed forces,” said Kurt Mueller, owner of Kurt’s CARSTAR Collision Center in Maryville, Ill. “Then we want to help them meet the challenges they face after serving our country. CARSTAR Auto Repair Experts simply did what they do best to help these two deserving families overcome transportation challenges.”
"You just can’t describe how happy we are getting this car,” said Kerri Riley, Josh’s wife. “People kept telling us, ‘You need a dependable car now with the kids.’ Now we want to find a way to help other people, keep it going and maybe give our old car to help someone who doesn’t have anything,” she said. “We are thankful and grateful for being chosen to get the car.”
“We’re going to put the gift of gasoline money to good use,” said Isham, “With my son being in the hospital, we need to go see him. We’re very appreciative for the gift because of our current situation.”