Minnesota Veteran Receives Walser Payment-Free Vehicle
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.
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.
“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.”
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.