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Marine vet in need of vehicle gets ‘recycled ride’

By Staff | Jun 20, 2019

Life got a little easier for an area veteran Wednesday morning.

U.S. Marine vet Paul Linscott, of Fort Myers, received a 2014 Hyundai Elantra as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program.

The car will help Linscott reliably take his son to school, as well as commute to and from his landscaping job. Linscott previously was driving a Mini Cooper that frequently broke down, making travel plans a wild card each time they ventured out of the house.

“It’s overwhelming,” Linscott said of being chosen as the recipient of the car. “I can see now just how many people are involved, and it’s pretty awesome.”

Caliber Collision in Cape Coral restored the car donated by Hertz, with all labor being volunteered by employees.

Linscott was nominated for the donated by Mission United and the Fort Myers Veterans Center.

A four-year Marine Corps veteran, Linscott earned numerous service awards, commendations and medals for marksmanship. His business recently collapsed, resulting in his relocation to Fort Myers. He and 12-year-old son, Isiah, were thrilled upon receiving the news, as Linscott was unsure what he was going to do with the Mini Cooper that was on its last legs.

“It’s very important,” said Linscott of having reliable transportation. “We’ve had issues where we’ve broke down a couple times and really didn’t know whether or not we were going to be able to fix the car or whether or not it was going to be able to get fixed. Having those problems and having those worries are all gone now.”

The NABC, Caliber Collision and Hertz went above and beyond just giving Linscott and Isiah a car, but loaded it with goodies.

In the back seat was a 50″ T.V. and in the trunk were gift cards to various eateries, Legos and more.

“This is just amazing. I can’t express how happy (I am). Even though I’m teared up, it’s happy tears,” said Linscott.

When he found out he was nominated, he wasn’t expecting to be the recipient of the car but it seems fate had other ideas for Linscott.

“Just thought it was a one-in-a-million chance. Maybe I’ll win the lottery ticket, maybe I won’t,” Linscott said. “We won.”

Caliber Collision and industry partners have donated more than 300 vehicles valued at more than $4 million to military service members and others in need of reliable transportation over the past six years.

The Recycled Rides program has partnered with Hertz over the last 10 years, gifting 29 vehicles.

Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of NABC, said since the inception of the Recycled Rides program, they’ve given more than 2,100 vehicles totaling more than $34 million in donations throughout the country over the last 12 years, and more than 400 this year alone.

“Our mantra is ‘changing and saving lives,’ and we hope that the gift today changes Paul’s life,” said Garoutte.

Cape Coral Caliber Collision Regional Manager Sam Wilson was enthusiastic about being able to provide this service to Linscott.

“Caliber’s purpose is to restore the rhythm of your life. We are pleased to restore the rhythm of the life of a very deserving local veteran by providing him with the gift of reliable transportation,” Wilson said.

Scott Hartford, an outreach specialist at Fort Myers Vet Center, nominated Linscott for the opportunity to have a reliable set of wheels.

“This moment will allow Paul and his son Isiah to make a step in a positive direction,” Hardford said.

Hertz Director of Replacement Accounts Kristle Bollans said that there is no better day on the job than being a part of the Recycled Rides program.

“I can’t tell you how meaningful and powerful it is to do a gifting and be able to change the path of someone’s life,” Bollans said.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj