Local Army veteran receives $500 for providing free rides to homeless, local vets

Proud to Serve
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ST. LOUIS – Daniel Howard, better known as “Dan Dan The Driving Man” has been giving free rides to veterans and homeless around St. Louis City and County for decades following his honorable discharge from the Army where he was in an air assault Blackhawk unit.

Howard was a rappel master with the 7th Infantry 3rd Brigade from 1984 to 1988. He felt a calling to serve his country and left a job in banking to become a soldier,

His time in the Army taught him about brotherhood and being in service to others. During his civilian life, Howard began making contacts with other veterans, many whom he saw needing help. He was a taxi driver for many years and started getting calls from local homeless organizations to help give rides to individuals and veterans who needed transportation.

Howard has transitioned into an electric vehicle and independent contractor with RideShare, donating over 200,000 miles of free rides over the years. He’s careful that the individuals are referred to him by trusted organizations and he loves getting to know the people who need his help.

Howard was nominated for the Proud to Serve award because last summer when the 7-11 store was being burned during the unrest from George Floyd’s death, he decided to do what he could to help.

His nomination says:

Daniel has been voluntarily giving free rides to the poor and homeless in his taxi or personal vehicles since 1997, here in St Louis city and county. He is a USA army infantry honorable discharged veteran. (Former Rappel Master and Air-assault, 7th infantry, Sargent 11 Bravo, life ling Missouri resident, born in St. Mary’s hospital, here. He is 62 years old. During the burning of the 7-11 store, in downtown St. Louis City. Daniel drove his car into the rioting to put out fires started by the rioters. He was attacked and his car’s windshield was smashed by protestors. A friend of his had texted him that, telling him his son a firefighter was being attacked, so since he lives in the former home of city Battalion chief fireman he decided to literally put water on the flames.. Himself! He watched the action live from the Bommarito SkyFOX helicopter to get in and out if the DANGER zones successfully!

Howard receives $500 from Brown & Brown Law Firm.

“200,000 miles for goodness sake! To take people here to there. Make sure they get to their doctor’s visits. Make sure they get food. Just a remarkable person,” said attorney Dan Brown.

Howard is deeply involved with the Gateway Electric Vehicle and DEED (Drive Electric Earth Day) efforts in St. Louis. He believes in cleaner air and is proud of his over 1.5 million miles driven accident free. He also salutes Reverend Larry Rice and others who have tirelessly supported homeless individuals in St. Louis City and been a support to Howard along the way. He says he’s inspired by many organizations like St. Louis Dental Center who gives free dental services to veterans.

If you would like to nominate a local first responder, military member, or veteran for our Proud to Serve award, click here.

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