NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Hankook Tire America Corp. expanded its support of veterans in 2018, helping more veteran in communities across the U.S. through its partnership with the Disabled American Veterans and its Mobile Service Office program.
The program offers free services to veterans and their families, bringing DAV's claims specialists directly to veterans in their local communities. According to Hankook, this reduces the distance many veterans must travel to obtain their Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits and other services.
Hankook Tire America President Hosung Suh said the partnership is important to the tire maker.
"Hankook is proud of how we've been able to have an even greater impact this year. We greatly appreciate the support from all of our local tire dealers for hosting events that make it easy for our local heroes and their loved ones to get the assistance they deserve."
U.S. Army veteran Becky Smith, from Clarksville, Tenn., volunteered to support the Hankook-DAV MSO stop at Gateway Tire.
"The feeling of helping a fellow veteran is incredible," said Smith, who assisted a homeless veteran through the claims process. "We were able to help him go from being homeless and living on $100 a month to receiving close to $3,000 a month. These are benefits he earned and should receive. I was happy to help him."
Hankook donated two sets of Hankook Dynapro AT-m tires to DAV, which were installed on two of MSO vehicles.
Marc Burgess, DAV National Adjutant and CEO, said DAV is honored to work with Hankook, helping more than 900 veterans over the past four years of the partnership.
"(We) look forward to continuing to help even more veterans live the high quality lives they deserve," he said.
In addition, the Hankook Heroes program highlighted why veterans are heroes, in which participants submitted brief testimonials to heroes in the veteran community.
This year's winner is Danita Crickmore of Indianapolis, while Portray Woods, a member of DAV Chapter 52 in Indianapolis also was recognized. Both received a set of Hankook tires.
When Woods served in the Army's 1st Armored Division, a roadside bomb blew off his right arm and left thumb, paralyzed his right side and caused a traumatic brain injury. Through intensive rehab, the former collegiate basketball player now can talk and walk. He is a past participant in DAV's Winter Sports Clinic, the largest rehabilitative sporting event of its kind in the world.
Hankook gave DAV $175,000 during the opening session of DAV's 97th National Convention in July. As part of this year's partnership, Hankook funded a seven-passenger DAV Transportation Network vehicle for the Nashville Veteran Affairs Medical Center, which will begin serving Nashville veterans in 2019.
For more information on Hankook and DAV's partnership, visit dav.org/hankook.