PHOENIX - A Valley veteran received a big surprise on Wednesday in the form of a brand new car for his family. Making the gift even more special, local organizations all pitched in to make this possible.
Phillip Rousu is a retired US Army Specialist. In 2015, he was on tour in Afghanistan and was wounded in combat during a night raid.
He later received a Purple Heart, and to thank him for his service, the Military Warriors Support Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Larry H. Miller Ford in Mesa presented Rousu and his family the gift of transportation.
"I was very surprised. I am surprised about the whole thing," he said after receiving his new car.
Jim Crutcher, general manager at Larry H. Miller Ford in Mesa says, "It hits my heart because my father spent 20 years in the Army, retired as a sergeant first-class, served two tours in Vietnam."
Paul Goin, market manager at Wells Fargo Auto says, "It is a financial burden. It is a financial debt. Being able to get a payment-free vehicle to a vet is special."
The Ford Edge will be a big help for the family.
The car being payment-free helps the family to stay out of debt. "They can continue to move on and get out to the civilian world and not have a large car debt hanging overhead, it is covered by warranty," _____ said.
"I am very grateful for organizations that do this for wounded warriors," Rousu said.
Since 2015, Military Warriors Support Foundation has awarded more than 100 payment-free vehicles and through its programs, it's helped veteran families pay off over $23 million in personal debt.
Read more on military news here.