Marine veteran gets a new set of wheels thanks to Illinois non-profit

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COLUMBIA, Ill. – An Illinois non-profit that helps veterans by raising money through a series of concerts is pivoting during the pandemic. The group Songs 4 Soldiers is gifting a new set of wheels to a veteran on Tuesday.

Although they never served together during their time in the military, there’s a brotherhood and connections made that is resulting in an easier route from Point A to Point B.

“A local bank chapter, Midland Bank, serves the Metro East area, was getting rid of their company cars,” said Dustin Row, founder of Songs 4 Soldiers. “Our good friend at T&M Automotive talked them into donating it to us. Then a personal friend of mine knew of someone who could use it for his family.”

In Columbia, Illinois, it’s a camaraderie for these gentlemen and their missions. And a much-needed car for Marine David Edger and his family of seven.

“I have a large family of seven. My oldest son is in Pensacola, Florida right now but my second oldest has his license and there’s four children. Kids always have stuff going on; they’re all teenagers,” said Edger. “It makes it really difficult when you’ve got a lot going on and someone is getting left out because they can’t do something they want or need to do.”

Row’s Songs 4 Soldiers has been raising money to help support fellow veterans since 2013, raising $650,000 for 550 combat veterans in that time. Helping by paying bills, offering support, and in today’s case, a good used set of wheels from a reliable member of the community.

“We decided to partner up with Dustin and Songs 4 Soldiers on some other projects and this just blended in and fit perfectly, and they needed a vehicle and we had one and it blended perfectly,” said Greg Malone, Midlands States Bank. 

A conversation that leads to another in Randolph County, resulting in a much-needed mode of transportation for a veteran and his family.

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