Ford Motor Company vehicle donations are giving disabled military veterans new mobility options, as they seek medical care and treatment that could improve their quality of life. Ford is donating eight more Flex utility vehicles to the DAV Transportation Network fleet to assist disabled veterans who need help getting to doctor appointments. Last year, Ford vehicles transported nearly 700,000 disabled veterans in the United States to essential doctor and hospital visits.
The DAV Transportation Network recruits volunteer drivers who will put the new Ford Flex utilities into service taking ill and disabled veterans to Veteran Affairs medical centers across the country. New additions to the DAV fleet will be deployed to locations in Augusta, Georgia; Des Moines, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; Asheville, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Waco, Texas. New Orleans will get two new vehicles. Over the past 21 years, Ford has donated 215 vehicles to the DAV Transportation Network, which was formed in 1987 and has helped more than 18 million veterans reach VA facilities.
“Without Ford’s generosity and the hard work of our volunteers, we would not have been able to provide nearly 700,000 rides for veterans last year alone,” says Dave Riley, DAV national commander. “Ford vehicles are crisscrossing the country for veterans, traveling almost 23 million miles every year to make certain our heroes can access the care they earned.”
Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund, says the company is proud to improve the mobility of this country’s heroic men and women by enabling them to get to and from the vital medical care that can improve their quality of life. “We are inspired by their courage and salute their sacrifices in protecting our freedoms,” says Vella.
Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is also continuing its support of the DAV Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship. The program provides grants to young men and women who have generously volunteered their time and provided distinguished service to help disabled veterans in their communities. With Ford Fund’s help, DAV has awarded nearly $1.2 million in scholarships to these exceptional young leaders. Ford also sponsors the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, a rehabilitation program held annually in the mountains of Colorado that helps improve the physical and mental well-being of severely injured veterans, as they meet challenges such as skiing, skating and rock wall climbing.
Henry Ford began hiring disabled veterans returning from World War I in 1919. In 1922, Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model Ts to take disabled veterans to their national convention. That was the beginning of the company’s 95-year relationship with DAV.
Ford’s support for military families today includes programs such as nurse assistant training through the American Red Cross, and providing Ford Blue Oval Scholarships to military members and their spouses to prepare them for careers in healthcare. Ford Focus on Freedom honors current and former military veterans with a special VIP event at the annual Ford Fireworks in Detroit.
Since 1974, Ford and Ford Fund have provided nearly $11 million to veterans’ organizations. Ford today employs nearly 6,000 veterans, plus hundreds of active military personnel, reservists and guardsmen.