National Auto Body Council® Joined USAA for Its Ongoing 100th Anniversary Celebration with the Presentation of Five NABC Recycled Rides® Vehicles to Deserving Military Members

On Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Lakewood City Hall in Lakewood, WA

CHARLOTTE (July 26, 2022) – On Thursday, July 21, 2022, five deserving Washington State military members and their families were honored at Lakewood City Hall in Lakewood, WA, and presented with National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides® vehicles, all donated by USAA. The vehicles were refurbished by Seattle collision repair partners Lacey Collision Center and Certified Collision Group affiliates Collision 1 Auburn, Trew Auto Body, 1st Class Auto Body — Burlington and 1st Class Auto Body — Bellingham.

The presentation was part of USAA’s 100th anniversary celebration, through which it will gift 100 NABC Recycled Rides® vehicles to military families across the country, including Nashville, Seattle, Chesapeake, Savannah, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Denver, Phoenix, Tampa, San Diego and finally San Antonio later this year.

“Today USAA is presenting vehicles to five deserving military families to give them the gift of reliable transportation in commemoration of USAA’s 100th anniversary,” said Luke Harris, VP of Innovation, USAA. “Thank you to our many partners, including the NABC Recycled Rides® program, for making this possible.”

For 100 years, USAA’s mission has served active-duty service members, veterans and their families. Recipients have been nominated by nonprofit organizations to receive a NABC Recycled Ride®. With the partnership of the National Auto Body Council® (NABC), a non-profit committed to serving their communities, and many in the collision repair industry, vehicles are repaired and donated to those identified as in need of reliable transportation.

“We are so grateful to see this program come to Lakewood,” said The Honorable Mary Moss, Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, WA, who presented a proclamation naming it USAA Day in Lakewood. “Our military community is very important to us, and we are honored to be a part of USAA’s 100th anniversary celebration to present NABC Recycled Rides to five enlisted men and women who will benefit tremendously from the gift of reliable transportation.”

The recipients were selected by Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) which builds financial self-sufficiency among junior active duty enlisted members and recently discharged enlisted veterans and their families facing financial crisis through counseling, education and grants. The recipients included:

  • Alex Free (United States Army; Private Second Class), received a 2018 Toyota Camry that was repaired by 1st Class Auto Body
  • Wendy Bernal (United States Army; Private First Class) was presented a 2019 Toyota CH-R that was refurbished by Lacey Collision Center
  • Doodley Joseph (United States Army; Specialist) was gifted a 2018 Kia Sportage that was repaired by 1st Class Auto Body
  • Jacob Simula (United States Army; Private First Class) received a 2017 Hyundai Elantra that was refurbished by Collision One
  • Damien Smith (United States Army; Specialist) was presented a 2018 Toyota Camry that was repaired by Trew Auto Body

“We were honored to join our member USAA in their 100th anniversary celebration, and grateful to our members which refurbished all of today’s beautiful vehicles,” said Dale Ross, NABC Recycled Rides® program manager. “It is incredible to meet these military members and their families and hear their stories. We are honored to be able to pay tribute to their service to the country and help them continue their path to independence and success with the gift of reliable transportation.”

“This means the world to me,” said Damien Smith, United States Army; Specialist. “I owe a lot of people rides who helped me get places when I didn’t have a car. I’m so grateful to everybody for putting this together, I’m going to try to pass this forward at every opportunity.”

Additional partners in the presentation included 1.800.Charity.Cars; Enterprise, which provided TBD to each family; and Longhouse Inventory Solutions, a 100 percent Native American female owned company that provides child safety seats to car rental companies, which donated two car seats to the families.

NABC Recycled Rides® is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the NABC Recycled Rides® program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council® have donated nearly 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million.

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The National Auto Body Council® is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council® has gifted nearly 3,000 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for nearly 5,000 First Responders and is helping educate students and adult drivers in communities around the country through NABC Recycled Rides®, NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the NABC® Drive Out Distraction program. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC® membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council® is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit