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


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.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News