As a classic car and truck airbrush designer for 20 years, I decided to use my art form in a more meaningful way by offering free custom pin stripe and airbrush design on mobility equipment for veterans. This all started at a car show when I noticed an elderly gentleman riding his scooter to see the cars. I motioned for him to come over to my booth and asked if he would like his scooter to match his Dodge Hell Cat. He looked at me as if to say "oh, sure, what's this going to cost me?"
I explained what I would do at no charge and he reluctantly let me design his means of transportation, only to find out that he was a disabled veteran. I finished the job and he thanked me and rode off. About 20 minutes goes by, and he comes back with two of his buddies, all disabled veterans. Yes, I did their equipment, also at no charge. That was when I made the decision to do this full time and at no cost for veterans. Next was to raise enough money to buy an enclosed trailer as a workshop and visit VA hospitals and other veterans organizations and offer this service for one day per month per location. I could see a change in the veterans' morale to have something of their own design ideas applied to their equipment instead of the same old humdrum styles. These range from flame jobs to skulls to military themes.
With the help of the fine folks and businesses of Pembroke, Mass., I was able to raise the $4,545 needed to buy the new trailer and have it lettered listing everyone who donated to this project. Next was to offer bookings to any organization that would like to host this at their location and also make it available for parades, car show, air shows, shopping malls, etc.
My next issue was operating expenses,like gas, wear and tear on the equipment and supplies. So I decided to offer annual advertising space on the trailer at $100 per listing or $400 per listing including a logo. All logos go the front and listings on the sides and rear of the trailer. I color-coded all listings as white for permanent original sponsors and blue fonts for all 'ANNUAL" sponsors. The first two years of annual fees will go to pay back my original sponsors. After they are paid off, these fees will go toward the operational expenses, and anything left over at the end of the year will go back to the veterans organizations to help in their efforts. This will happen only if we have a clean year with very few payouts.
My own American Legion post, Arthur Briggs Church Post 143 in Pembroke, was one of my main sponsors and I want to thank them for getting this project up and running. Now I would like to have at least 25 more posts show their support on the sides of the trailer for an annual fee of $100, which will complete the building and operational issues that face me.
I have already received numerous requests for a one-day visit; one may be the spinal cord unit at our local VA hospital, but that is not yet confirmed. My goal, as I am in my retirement years, is to make disabled veterans' lives just a tad more up lifting with just a simple design that reflects their personality and pride in our country. Thank you, veterans of all wars, for your service and your sacrifice.
Request for full PDF files with photos are available through my email.
Veteran, U.S. Navy, Vietnam era, non-combat
Life member DAV
Member, American Legion Post 143, Pembroke Mass.
Registered member of the "Patriot Guard Riders"
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