Minnesota Veteran Receives Walser Payment-Free Vehicle

August 30th, 2019 by

Cars are freedom. They can help us get to our jobs. They can take us to our friends. They can bring us home to our families. This week Walser had the privilege of providing a piece of that freedom to a Minnesota combat-wounded veteran.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Derek Goodridge sits in his payment-free vehicle – a new 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport


Goodridge’s new 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

Alongside Wells Fargo, Walser Automotive Group and the Walser Foundation delivered a 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport to retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Derek Goodridge in connection with Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heros program. The program awards a payment-free vehicle and provides one year of family and financial mentorship to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families.

Goodridge was born and raised in Minneapolis. He joined the military two months after graduating high school to challenge himself and become a role model for his younger siblings. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Sergeant from 2006 to 2012. He had duty stations in Virginia, California, Cuba and was deployed to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Jordan, and Africa.

Goodridge was wounded while supporting combat operations and is the recipient of the Purple Heart, along with other awards for his service, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (x2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (x2), and more.

He now lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota with his fiancée and three children. Derek is starting his own lawn care business and hopes to expand his company in the future.

Goodridge’s daughter Braelynn tests out the backseat of the family’s new 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

Goodridge was recognized during the Minnesota State Fair’s Military Appreciation Day on August 28 and took the keys to his new vehicle on August 29 at Walser Nissan Coon Rapids.

“Assisting veterans as they transition back to civilian life is one of the most important things companies can do,” said Walser’s Chief Human Resources Officer Sherry Schultz. “It is our honor to support Sgt. Goodridge, his family, and the men and women who have proudly served.”

Retired USMC Sergent Derek Goodridge accepts an honorary certificate for his payment-free vehicle during Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 28


Goodridge accepts the keys to his new 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport at Walser Nissan Coon Rapids on Aug 29


(L-R) Charlie Swenson, Walser Senior Vice President of Operations – MN; Jason Buck, Customer Specialist, Walser Nissan Coon Rapids; Retired USMC Sergent Derek Goodridge; Sherry Schultz, Walser Chief Human Resources Officer; Nancy Warner, Walser Foundation Director


Goodridge poses with his two daughters Amelia and Braelynn (L-R)

With a focus on workforce development, the Walser Foundation passionately supports the transition of veterans to civilian life and understands the unique challenges a military family faces, including reintegration to the workforce. Walser is committed to serving its customers and company by supporting initiatives that in turn support our country.