When Las Vegas Army Sgt. Aaron Timm applied for financial assistance through Operation Homefront to replace the transmission on his 1965 Ford Galaxie, the organization had something better in mind.
On Veteran’s Day, Timm was presented with a set of keys to a gray 2016 Mazda CX-5.
“I was a little surprised,” he said.
Operation Homefront, a nationwide organization that provides emergency financial assistance and other aid to families of service members and wounded warriors, was contacted by Mazda to fulfill Timm’s need, according to Executive Director Annie Baca.
“Corporate sponsors will visit the needs page on our website to fulfill a certain need,” she said. “We’re so grateful that Mazda partnered with us to give a veteran a car.”
Timm’s Mazda was given to him by Planet Mazda on West Sahara Avenue.
General Manager Stephen Beecher said he hopes Mazda’s generosity inspires more dealerships to give back to the community.
“After everything they’ve sacrificed, it’s the least we can do,” he said of donating a car to a veteran. “It’s something all dealers should do.”
Timm, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1998-2007 and the U.S. Army from 2010-2013, relocated to Las Vegas last November to be closer to the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System.
“It’s one of the best in the country,” he said. “They offer treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder that aren’t available elsewhere.”
Since leaving the Army, Timm has dedicated his time to helping other veterans who suffer from homelessness and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“A lot of them don’t know where to turn to, to ask for help,” he said. “I house vets in my home and help coordinate getting them through treatment programs.”
According to Timm, he makes routine trips to southern and central California to pick up veterans who need assistance, so having a new Mazda in his driveway certainly helps.
“It helps spread the load out a lot better,” he said. “Our mission will continue because there’s always too much work to do and not enough bodies.”
Instead of spending time reflecting on how it feels to receive a brand-new car, Timm is focused on the countless upcoming hospital trips and out-of-town outings he’ll be making to assist his fellow veterans.
“I can’t think too much about the future because the work I do won’t let you,” he said. “The big picture is always changing and nothing is certain for us. We do as much as we can as long as we can for as many as we can.”
— Contact reporter Ann Friedman at email@example.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @AnnFriedmanRJ on Twitter.