For combat-wounded veterans, transitioning from the military back to civilian life can be challenging.
That, combined with the cost of a new vehicle, can put added burdens on any family.
To help, Wells Fargo teamed up with Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa and Military Warrior Support Foundation to present a payment-free 2020 Ford TRKS Edge to retired U.S. Army Specialist Phillip Rousu of Anthem during a special key ceremony on April 21 at the dealership.
“It means a lot to our family to receive a payment-free vehicle,” Rousu said.
“It means there are really good people and organizations such as MWSF, Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa and Wells Fargo who care about us wounded service members and are willing to go out of their way to make our lives better after we return from combat. Financially, this will allow us to sell our current, old vehicle, and have extra income to purchase our first home and move to Flagstaff sometime very soon. So, you can imagine how excited and honored we are.”
The donation was made through the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program, which awards payment-free vehicles and provides one year of family and financial mentorship to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families. According to the foundation, the counseling has helped families in its program pay down an average of about $17,500 in debt.
Rousu was born and raised in Arizona. He joined the Army in 2012 to follow in his brother’s footsteps and gain experience in the medical field.
Rousu served as a ranger medic in 3rd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2015, while deployed to Afghanistan, he was wounded in combat during a night raid and later received a Purple Heart for his injuries. After his deployment, Rousu continued his service at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and served until he medically retired in late 2016. Throughout his military career, he received many awards including a Combat Medical Badge, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He lives in Anthem with his wife and two children.
Wells Fargo Auto, a division of Wells Fargo Consumer Lending, started the Sponsored Vehicle Donation Program in 2015, and since then have worked with auto dealerships across the country to sponsor the donation of more than 40 payment-free vehicles and family and financial mentoring, valued at over $1 million, to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families through Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program.