Press Release – September 23, 2017: Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that builds strong, stable and secure military families, recently partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) to host Military Appreciation Day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to surprise two military families with a brand new Mazda vehicle and award a mortgage-free home donated by Chase, for their selfless service to their county.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Don DeGuzman and Marine Sergeant Ricardo Mendez were elated to learn they weren’t just at Mazda Raceway for an exciting weekend of racing, they were there to be honored in a very special way for their courageous service to our country. They were awarded brand new Mazda cars.
“This is amazing – thank you to Operation Homefront, Chase, and Mazda,” said Ricardo and Adriana Mendez. “This means that I will have a dependable car and not have to struggle to get by – it’s one less burden we don’t have to worry about.”
“I really feel appreciated – this is life changing,” said Don. “It is really going to help out financially because our car is almost done – so, it will help us out tremendously.”
Army Staff Sergeant Toure Williams was awarded a mortgage-free home in Jackson, New Jersey, through Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program.
The Homes on the Homefront program began in 2012. Since inception, Operation Homefront has placed nearly 600 veterans and their families in mortgage-free homes providing more than $56 million in deeded value to military families. Toure and his family will participate in one-on-one homeowner counseling services for one to three years. The family will also participate in a customized transition plan, including financial counseling and savings planning.
“It’s our biggest dream to get a home of my own,” said Toure. “This is a new beginning, something that we as a family can work on together, make our own home that we have dreamed of. Thank you very much, Operation Homefront, Chase, and Mazda – I appreciate everything you have done for me and my family.”
Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. Operations at Mazda, and Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray, Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront, were in attendance to award the home and cars to the three military families. Each family participated in Military Appreciation Day at Mazda Raceway with different activities.
“This moment is just as special for us as is it for our veterans,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president of special projects for Mazda. “These Mazda vehicles are a small token of our appreciation and a way to say thank you to our veterans for their invaluable service to our country. We are honored to be here with them this weekend.”
“I am extremely grateful to have such amazing partners, like Chase and Mazda, share our commitment to building strong, stable, and secure military families,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray, Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “By working together, we are able to give them a real opportunity to thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities — our communities — they have worked so hard to protect.”
Each of the families who were awarded a new Mazda will get to select the model of their choice from the current Mazda vehicle lineup. From there, the vehicle will be delivered to the family at their local San Diego Mazda dealership in the coming weeks.
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