During the Cricket Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA – We partnered with Truist to present a payment-free vehicle to retired U.S. Army Major Jerry Free through our Transportation4Heroes program. Additionally, we surprised Major Free with another life-changing gift, we will be paying off the mortgage on his current home.
Jerry Free was born and raised in Columbia, SC. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1956 right after high school because he had an interest in flying and wanted to travel and experience different cultures around the world. He was stationed in Hawaii with a patrol squadron and was able to fly to many islands throughout the Pacific. After his service in the Navy, he enjoyed civilian life for a short time and then joined the U.S. Army in 1962. Free went to Officer Candidate School and received his commissioned officer rank 2 Lt. He later went on to Flight school and served two tours in Vietnam flying helicopters logging over 2,000 flight hours in combat.
Free received several distinguished awards during his years of service: Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross (3 Awards Total), Air Medal with ‘V’ device for Valor, Air Medal (21 Award Total), Bronze Star Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Cross of Gallantry W/ Silver Star, Army Aviation Badge, and others. Jerry currently lives in Irmo, SC and enjoys volunteering in his community and spending time with his family.
Jerry was chosen to receive this life-changing gift after applying to MWSF’s Transportation4Heroes program.The application has a rigorous vetting process to ensure that the veteran chosen to receive a vehicle is the best recipient to participate in the program. MWSF works with the veteran to ensure that the gift of a payment-free vehicle assists them in their successful transition out of the military and into their new civilian life.
Since 2015, Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program has worked with companies across the country to award 150 payment-free vehicles. In addition to providing vehicles, MWSF supports these combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star spouses through family and financial mentorship connected programs. These programs provide crucial transitional support that focus on housing, outdoor recreational activities, transportation assistance and leadership development. Through this work, they have enabled participants to pay off over $26 million in pre-existing debt.