NASCAR Legend Darrell Waltrip Presents Vietnam Veteran with Accessible Minivan

Operation Independence Contest Winner Cpl. Charlie Harvey Receives 2013 Toyota Sienna with VMI Northstar Conversion

Congratulations to Star Spangled Salute contest winner Charlie Harvey, a retired U.S. Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War. A new Toyota minivan was presented to Cpl. Harvey on Wednesday, Januray 8th at Darrell Waltrip’s race shop in Harrisburg, NC.

Operation Independence was launched by VMI with the help of groups like Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and mobility dealers such as MobilityWorks, in an effort to educate veterans about their mobility benefits. The Star Spangled Salute contest was developed to bring public awareness to the needs of veterans with mobility issues.

After having suffered three strokes in the past sixteen years, Cpl. Harvey is dependent on using a wheelchair and scooter for help with is mobility. In order to get around, he needed a wheelchair accessible van. On Veterans Day in 2013 (November 11th), his name was drawn from a more than 850 veterans who had been entered to win the special vehicle with a built-in, automated wheelchair ramp.

Waltrip is known for being the voice of NASCAR on Fox and is a three-time Sprint Cup Series Champion. He is also the winner of the 1989 Daytona 500, and the first 5-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600.

“This is such a great program helping someone who has sacrificed so much,” said Waltrip.

Darrell Waltrip and Charlie in his new VMI Toyota Sienna van.

Many thanks to Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc for their donation of the new Sienna SE and to VMI for donating its Access 360 Northstar Conversion. Thank you to Darrel Waltrip for providing a great setting for the event.

Congratulation Charlie! And our sincere thanks to you, and to all our brave veterans, for serving our country.

For more information about the Access 360 Toyota Sienna with a Northstar Conversion for sale at MobilityWorks, go to VMI Toyotoa Northstar. For more photos and information about the day at Waltrip’s race shop, go to VMI’s Facebook page here.