DriveTime takes a moment to “Salute to the Troops” and celebrate our Veterans
For many of America’s military men and women, their return home can be a harsh reality; especially for those who come with life-altering injuries. Many veterans come home to ill family members, bills piling up, an unsteady economy and a severe lack of resources.
Every year the nation sets aside a single day, Veterans Day, to honor the men and women who have served our country in uniform. In like form, annually, DriveTime takes a moment to “Salute to the Troops” celebrating veterans from generations past, welcoming our new generation of veterans home from war and our future veterans still severing at home and abroad.
This year DriveTime awarded four vehicles to U.S. Army Veterans: Ret U.S. Army Staff Sargent Tommy Williams; Ret U.S. Army Petero Taufagu; Ret U.S. Army Veteran Emmanuel Adame; and US Air Force Veteran Retired Tech Sgt. Matthew Slaydon.
“Cars extend freedom to people. I think DriveTime really does extend freedom to the Veterans. We take freedom for granted and while we can never show our full appreciation for them we hope having a car will make their lives a bit easier.” – Lance Spotleson
Lance Spotleson, VP of DriveTime, traveled to Las Vegas this October to present the four vehicles to our deserving retired veterans. The 2017 Salute to the Troops event hosted was by the AirPower Foundation, a non-profit organization that was created with the mission of caring for military veterans and their families.
The fourth vehicle was presented to a Veteran located here the heart of Arizona. RET. USAF TSgt Matthew Slaydon, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, was critically injured Oct. 24, 2007, while serving to protect convoy routes in Iraq. An improvised explosive device exploded about two feet from his face, throwing him almost 20 feet — leaving him so severely injured that he was almost unrecognizable. The explosion left him completely blind and doctors had to amputate his left arm above the elbow. He also suffered a collapsed lung and numerous facial fractures and lacerations in the attack. Slaydon was medically retired from the Air Force Aug. 27, 2009, as a technical sergeant.
“Was it worth it?” Slaydon asked. “Yes, absolutely. I never got so much satisfaction out of anything in my life as disarming roadside bombs. Knowing that there are sons and daughters at home with their families because I did my job is what allows me to carry the weight.” – RET. USAF TSgt Matthew Slaydon
Slaydon doesn’t remember anything from the day that changed his life. However, we will all ways remember the day he changed our lives. See more information on Slaydon’s story here.
While there is no way we at DriveTime could ever fully show our appreciation for the sacrifices these and many other Veterans have made for this country, we can only hope that we can help make the lives of our veterans a little easier through our donation.