74-year-old says getting to the VA hospital is easier
U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran Ron Handy was the winner of a previously owned Buick Lacrosse when his entry was randomly selected in “VJ’s For Veteran’s” drawing on Saturday, May 25 at the Arcadia Vietnam Monument in the Arcadia County Park. The super-clean Buick was donated by VJ’s Auto Service (Arcadia) in a drawing meant to help disadvantaged veterans who do not have reliable transportation for their day-to-day needs. At 5 p.m. Handy’s name was randomly drawn from about 14 other entries at a Memorial Day weekend “Get-Together at the Monument” event hosted annually by the Arcadia Vietnam Memorial Monument team.
Handy wrote on his entry form that he was in the Navy for four years and deployed to the Vietnam theatre of operations two times between 1966 and 1968. He added, “I drive a 1991 Honda Civic. I go to the Long Beach VA Hospital for appointments because I have trouble with my legs and feet. I have a hard time driving a manual stick. I’m 74 and will be 75 this year and use a cane. I need to pick up my mom and she has trouble getting in my car. I hope I’m eligible for the (new) car, I sure could use it.” After Handy’s name was drawn, Gene Glasco read aloud what Handy wrote on his application to the crowd that formed, which also included a few of the veterans who entered the free car drawing. After reading his entry, everyone agreed that Handy richly deserved to win the car.
“VJ’s For Vets,” was started in 2018 by VJ Sabanayagam, owner of VJ’s Auto Service” said Gene Glasco, Arcadia city clerk and founder of the Arcadia Vietnam War Memorial. “VJ and his wife have a son in the Marines currently serving at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.” The May 25 drawing was the second free automobile that VJ’s has given away to a veteran in need.