JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Navy veteran who has struggled to get around Jacksonville since losing his leg following complications from hip replacement surgery will find the ride a little smoother from now on.
Wells Fargo, in collaboration with Key Auto Company, gave Scott Davis a payment-free 2022 GMC Sierra Crew Cab truck through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (restoring independence, supporting empowerment).
“This is just one small way we can help and show our veterans our support and thank them for their service to our country,” said Tanya Sanders, head of Wells Fargo Auto. “The vehicle donation is payment free. It also comes with ongoing financial mentoring and coaching. And it’s just one small thing that we can do to support our veterans.”
Davis, who was a petty officer second class, joined the Navy in 1997 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Shortly after returning home, Davis had hip replacement surgery, but due to complications from an infection, Davis had 42 hip and femur replacement surgeries over an eight-year period before finally having his entire leg amputated from the hip down.
“Trying to get around a town this big on crutches all the time and not have to spend hundreds of dollars a month on ride-share programs -- it’s very arduous to do that,” Davis admitted Tuesday during the donation ceremony.
According to a release, Davis is currently experiencing homelessness and is in transitional housing. He was selected by the Gary Sinise Foundation for the donation because he needs a vehicle to regain his independence, finish his second master’s degree, allow him to get to and from his doctor’s appointments and take his service dog to the park, along with other basic life necessities.
Davis said he wants to become a licensed mental health counselor to work with veterans. He’s finished his master’s courses, but he still needs to complete his practicum, he said, and the truck will help him make the treks for that.
He said he’s also had to pull back from one of his passions, coaching Special Olympians, because he hasn’t had a vehicle. He said he’s excited that the truck will allow him to become active in training with them again.
“This isn’t just helping me. It’s going to help a lot of people,” Davis said. “And I’m going to use it to better as many people’s lives and help as many people as possible.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation also covered the cost of a year of auto insurance for the truck and gave Davis a $2,000 gas gift card “to help ease the financial burden as he continues to get back on his feet.”