Veteran Mike Harris received quite a shock on Thursday, October 11 when Delaware Community Appreciation Group (DCAG) founder Butch Elzey presented Mike with a vehicle to help him get to and from work and college as he continues to work towards his mission to earn a degree and own a house. Mike, who served his country in the United States Army as a young man, has been without a vehicle for six years. Despite that fact, he is currently attending Delaware Technical and Community College for a Computer Information Systems degree and works at Cooper Bearings Incorporated in Georgetown, DE.
Mike, originally from Hayden, Alabama, served in the 101st Airborne Division and trained at Fort Dix in New Jersey. According to Mike, he has been deployed overseas in several countries including Puerto Rico, Egypt, Nicaragua and Germany. While serving in South America, Mike was wounded, affecting the use of his left arm and served as a Military Police Officer for the remainder of his military career.
Attempting to get back to a state of normalcy, Mike has been attending school and working to improve his quality of life. Needing assistance with transportation, Mike called Butch Elzey, founder of DCAG, and told him his current situation and his desire to function on his own without having to depend on others.
“I want to be able to function by myself, this vehicle means opportunity to me,” commented Mike. “I do not want to depend on other people and this will allow me to give back and help others too.”
Sympathizing with Mike’s dilemma, Butch called Hertrich of Milford and asked if they had any pre-owned vehicle that the Delaware Community Appreciation Group could purchase for Harris. Ken Heverin, Sales Manager at Hertrich, took this opportunity to find a used vehicle that was affordable and reliable for the veteran. At the dealership, Mike was ecstatic as the keys to the car were handed over to him by Butch and Linda Elzey.
“When DCAG makes a decision to do something like this we want to make sure that our veterans know that behind this decision is a lot of people that support them,” commented Elzey. “When you can spend a little amount of money like this and change someone’s life, it is worth it. Mike is a great guy with such a positive attitude and I think he is going to go far.”
The Delaware Community Appreciation Group to date has raised over $200,000 for local veterans and their families in just 5 years. The involvement of Butch and Linda Elzey goes beyond the organization though as Butch has counseled over 100 veterans, from his home state of Delaware to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) located in Washington, D.C
“They are deserving and to be honest veterans do not get a fair shake when they return,” commented Butch. “As a country we need to let them know that we support them and their future.”