Findlay Automotive execs salute their fellow veterans


Two Findlay Automotive Group executives, who are also veterans of the military, have joined forces to create a public service announcement recognizing veterans that will air on KLAS TV Channel 8 through the end of the year.

Included in the salute to veterans are Findlay Chevrolet Fixed Operations Director Tony Smith, who was in the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 1989, and Findlay Volkswagen Sales Manager Leckie Baptista, who served in the Air Force from 1988 to 1999.

Both men said they appreciated the opportunity to recognize fellow veterans while getting the opportunity to see how a public service announcement is conceived, filmed and edited at the television station.

“I was honored to have been selected for the PSA,” said Smith, a native of Meridian, Miss., whose stops in the USAF included Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., and Ellington Field in Houston. “I have a great appreciation for what our veterans have gone through over the years and I’m really enjoying the fact that the American public has changed its attitude toward veterans compared to 20-30 years ago.”

Smith said he also was fascinated by the small house on the TV station property that was once occupied by Howard Hughes, especially since it was used for the movie “Casino.”

“It was awesome and actually a lot of fun,” said Baptista, a native of Western Samoa whose service included stops in Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, and Kadena Air Force Base in Japan. “I was honored to be asked to participate in the PSA.”

The public service announcement also incorporates the fact that the late Pete Findlay, founder of Findlay Automotive Group, was a veteran who piloted P-38s in World War II after being drafted in 1941. He flew 63 combat missions. Findlay Middle School, which opened in 2004, was named in his memory and the school’s mascot, Flyers, was selected in honor of Findlay, who arrived in Las Vegas in 1959 to open Pete’s Used Cars on Boulder Highway.

Findlay’s son, Cliff Findlay, now runs 28 new and preowned automobile dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Idaho.

Further information can be found by visiting www.findlayauto.com.

 

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