Anonymous donor, auto shop team up to give veteran car

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — An Army veteran got the surprise of his life, a new vehicle thanks to a local auto shop and an anonymous donor.

Jerrold Eaton served our country for nine years. Four years active, one reserve, and four in the National Guard.

Eaton is now using his time to give back to his community. He takes care of several elderly neighbors, taking them to doctors’ appointments, mowing their lawns, and even taking them to the grocery store.

Although it’s always been much appreciated, it was hard for those whom he helped to get in and out of his work truck. Eaton is a handyman by trade. Other challenges of his Ford F-150, which had no air-conditioning, making it dangerous for his at-risk neighbors to travel for very long.

Today, that all changed. Eaton was gifted at 2012 Jeep Liberty. The four-door SUV also is equipped with four-wheel-drive and air-conditioning which allows Eaton to continue his work no matter what season.

Wendy Caldwell and her husband own Miller Brothers Transmission Auto Repair and Body Shop in Corryton. Caldwell explained it happened by chance, a woman whose father had passed away, came in wanting to remain anonymous but donate his vehicle to someone in need.

“As we learned more and more about her dad, we found out he was a proud Vietnam veteran,” Caldwell said. “We took the vehicle, did repairs, a tune-up, tires but we really didn’t know how to give it away. So, we contacted the mayor’s office and they contacted a veteran’s organization. They gave us the name, Jerrold, who we gave the car to.”

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ office contacted the  Disabled American Veterans Tri-County Chapter 26 which Eaton serves as Officer of the Day.

“Jerrold gets something in this hand and goes out to someone else in that hand, he doesn’t hold onto things. He’s a giver and has a servant’s heart,” Howard McNeill, a commander with Chapter 26, said.

“This is a blessing not only to him but all the people he touches,” added McNeill.

Eaton says he has no plans to slow down.

“I’m continuing to do my work for the Lord, my community and my fellow veterans,” Eaton said. “I’m extremely blessed and happy to be that way.”


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