Montgomery Marine Corps Veteran Enjoys Free Car Repairs from Kalamazoo AAMCO Center

Community-wide effort takes place in Kalamazoo

Retired Marine Corps veteran Robert W. Devine served in the Vietnam War. Devine relies on his 2002 Chevrolet Venture to get to his medical appointments at the local Veterans Affairs facility and to run daily errands. Purple Heart member George Schneider recommended Devine for AAMCO’s program to the MOPH Michigan state commander after learning that Devine could not afford the extensive repairs his vehicle needed.

L to R back row:  Dennis Howes of Autozone, Dan Madson (AAMCO), Chuck Swim, (AAMCO), Joseph Foy III (AAMCO) and not pictured Ben Behymer(AAMCO) L to R Front row: Mike Gonse of DeGroot CARSTAR Collision Center, Gary Shoemaker of Shoemaker’s Garage, AAMCO Kalamazoo owner, Helen Bogatschow and Veteran Robert Devine (not pictured Richard Cagle of Bunca Detailing)  Credit: Kara Beth Photography

L to R back row: Dennis Howes of Autozone, Dan Madson (AAMCO), Chuck Swim, (AAMCO), Joseph Foy III (AAMCO) and not pictured Ben Behymer(AAMCO)
L to R Front row: Mike Gonse of DeGroot CARSTAR Collision Center, Gary Shoemaker of Shoemaker’s Garage, AAMCO Kalamazoo owner, Helen Bogatschow and Veteran Robert Devine (not pictured Richard Cagle of Bunca Detailing)
Credit: Kara Beth Photography

“I’d like to thank AAMCO of Kalamazoo for repairing my van and getting me back on the road,” said Devine. “I am so grateful to George Schneider, who recommended me, Helen, the AAMCO center owner, and the entire AAMCO repair team, as well as all the companies that donated parts and time to ensure I have a safe working vehicle.”

AAMCO Kalamazoo owner Helen and her repair team gather with Veteran Robert Devine.

AAMCO Kalamazoo owner Helen and her repair team gather with Veteran Robert Devine.

Devine picked up his newly repaired van on Sept. 27 from the AAMCO of Kalamazoo service center, at 541 Portage Street, where all services were provided free of charge. Parts and detailing were donated by local automotive businesses.

Gary Shoemaker smiles big with Devine. His company provided a new front-end alignment.

Gary Shoemaker smiles big with Devine. His company provided a new front-end alignment.

AAMCO rebuilt the transmission and made many updates, including a motor oil change, installing new valves, fluids, spark plugs, wires and a parking light. The AAMCO center owner, Helen Bogatschow ensured all major and minor repairs were provided by enlisting assistance from local businesses:

·  Autozone provided all parts necessary to repair the van, including the brake pads.

·  Transtar donated the parts and fluids to rebuild the transmission.

·  Connie and Dale DeGroot, of DeGroot Carstar Collision Center at 572 East Walnut
Street, provided the new hood and grill, as well as exterior painting.

·   Gary Shoemaker, of Shoemaker Garage at 633 East Crosstown Parkway, provided the
front-end alignment.

·   Bunca Detailing, at 653 West Michigan Avenue, provided the detailing.

Autozone’s local representative Dennis Howes shakes hands with Veteran Devine after his company donated the new parts for the van.

Autozone’s local representative Dennis Howes shakes hands with Veteran Devine after his company donated the new parts for the van.

The AAMCO owner and repair team conducted a full inspection and review to ensure that the car will continue to serve Devine for many years.

Mike Gonse of DeGroot CARSTAR Collision Center shakes hand with Veteran Devine after his company provided a new hood, grill and exterior painting.

Mike Gonse of DeGroot CARSTAR Collision Center shakes hand with Veteran Devine after his company provided a new hood, grill and exterior painting.

“I am so pleased to help a deserving veteran, such as Robert Devine,” said Helen Bogatschow, owner of the AAMCO of Kalamazoo. “I believe in doing our part to give back, and am thankful for the generous donations from local partners that donated the body work, parts, labor and detailing for this effort,” she added.

Devine drove off with a newly repaired and detailed van!

Devine drove off with a newly repaired and detailed van!

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