When Hankook approached the team at Major League Tire to host a Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Mobile Service Office (MSO) at their Mentor, Ohio, location, they said yes right away.
“My dad was a World War II veteran and was active in the DAV in late ’90s and early 2000s,” said Rich Elwell, co-owner of Major League Tire. “This organization was important to him and now important to us. We are glad to be able to partner with Hankook at the DVM.”
As part of its commitment to helping people through mobility, Hankook hosts DAV MSO stops at various locations across the country. Hankook Tire America Corp. has been a partner of DAV since 2014.
The DAV’s MSO will make 850 stops this year, with six of those stops part of Hankook’s sponsorship. Bringing free services directly to veterans, the
At the MSO stops, certified DAV benefits advocates are available to help ensure veterans who sacrificed for the nation receive the benefits. Advocates will assistance such things as filing claims for Veteran Affairs benefit.
“Many of the people that will take advantage of this did not grow-up with a computer or are proficient with it,” said Elwell. “The mobile office gives the veteran better comfort to talk directly with a person who can help them with their problem.”
Hankook has leveraged its tire dealer network to bring DAV’s MSO vehicles to service local veterans at tire dealerships across the country at the following locations:
•Black’s Tire in Fayetteville, N.C. – Aug. 15
•Discount Tire Center in Yucca Valley, Calif. – Aug. 18
•Major League Tire in Mentor, Ohio – Aug. 23
•CJ’s Tire in Fairless Hills, Pa. – Sept. 26
•Gateway Tire in Clarksville, Tenn. – Oct 20
•Russo Tires in Doral, Fla. – Oct. 30
Wes Boling, public relations manager for Hankook, said dealers are selected to based upon three criteria: a strong relationship with Hankook; the dealer is located within a heavy population of veterans; and the business is a heavy populated area.
“Hankook Tire deeply values the veteran community, and our partnership with DAV is a way for the company to give back,” said Boling. “This initiative is not just about writing a check; we help by putting boots on the ground within the community, roll up our sleeves and work with the DAV to help veterans find the results they need. No dealer ever declines when we ask them to host the event. They understand the value to the community.”
Prior to the event, the DAV will blanket a community by reaching out to the city with hopes of the event being promoted on the city’s website; through the local VFW chapters and different veterans organizations; and advertising at the local dealerships and other businesses within the community. At the Mentor event, Major League Tire engaged with local partners such as Nickles Bakery and Federated Auto Parts to make its a community event.
Michael D. Brady, national service officer for the DAV, said veterans appreciate the convenience the mobile office brings.
“We hope to see between 20-25 veterans at an event like this. At some events, we may see more than 300 people. We specialize in helping veterans with a claim. Our legal system is broken, and with such a backlog of claims, some as long as five years, we offer better alternatives. We want to give the veterans the facts they need as in many cases it can make a difference. In others, they may not like the information they receive, but they deserve to hear it straight.”
Major League Tire’s commitment to veterans is not over when the DAV’s Mobile Service Office departed. Jim Miller, manager of Major League Tire’s Mentor location, said on average, he will give veterans a 3-5% discount on any tire or auto service repair. He believes it is part of a growing trend within the industry to recognize the service of his customers.
“I believe the industry is better in recognizing our veterans, probably over the last 15-20 years as a result of 9/11. People are generally more patriotic since the events of 9/11 hit so close to home. No question we will help our veterans,” he said.