Trimino Brands Supports Injured Veterans
Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH) delivers adaptive minivans to our wounded, injured, and ill military heroes. HOMH has delivered over 140 vans to inspiring service men and women across the country.
What's the connection between Help Our Military Heroes and Trimino Brands?
Children of both HOMH founder Laurie Hollander and Trimino Brands founder Bob Leary attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hollander and Leary met almost a decade ago through their West Point connections.
Like trimino, HOMH began locally. Its mission: support combat wounded veterans in the Connecticut area. Like trimino, with its success HOMH expanded across the country. HOMH also expanded beyond serving veterans wounded in combat. Today, they provide adaptive minivans to service men and women needing vans to overcome any injury or illness. As Hollander says, "These men and women are heroes 24/7 three hundred sixty-five days a year."
To date HOMH has never turned away a qualifying veteran. But, in March, Covid-19 stalled HOMH's fundraising efforts. This year's long-planned events were canceled for the foreseeable future. Receiving new applications each week and facing a fundraising shortfall, Laurie Hollander reached out to Connecticut radio station WPLR and her friends at Trimino Brands.
In June, Bob Leary went on air with Chaz and AJ in the Morning pledging $20,000 in matching donations to HOMH. AJ vowed to get a trimino tattoo if HOMH hit their $50,000 fundraising goal. That goal was exceeded! The money raised was used to give adaptive vans to two military heroes.
On June 30th, HOMH awarded EMN2 (SS) Dylan Pickett and his wife Brittany Pickett a wheelchair accessible Chrysler Pacifica (seen in the lead photo). Petty Officer Pickett is a nuclear engineer stationed at Groton Sub Base in Connecticut. Last year, at the age of 21, Dylan was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Due to complications following surgery, Dylan was paralyzed from the waist down.
During his rehabilitation, Dylan's wife Brittany manually transferred him in and out of their family car for every doctor's visit - back-breaking and delicate work. With their new van, the Picketts are able to travel easier and spend more time with their 2 large dogs, 2 birds and bearded dragon.
On July 6, 2020, in Germantown, Maryland, HOMH awarded its 147th van - a wheelchair accessible Toyota Sienna minivan. Help Our Military Heroes ambassador Tammy Phipps (USArmy MAJ, ret) was there to pass the keys to US ARMY COL (ret) Carlos Melendez and his wife Vanessa Melendez.
Carlos developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a progressive disease affecting the nervous system. According to ALS News Today, military veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS. The ALS Association adds...
If you serve in the military, regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether you served in the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, and regardless of whether you served during a time of peace or a time of war, you are at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if you had not served in the military.
Now, Carlos is training to drive using hand controls and will be able to enjoy the independence of driving again. His wife, Vanessa, says “...wheelchair accessibility means we are more safely able to get to appointments, go out for a drive and just enjoy getting in and out of our vehicle no matter the weather!”
And What About AJ's Tattoo?
The ink has dried and it's beautiful!