Medically Retired Air Force Senior Airman and Rally Car Racer, Karah Behrend, will use her new vehicle to help other disabled people learn how to drive with hand-controls
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar, Inc., (NASDAQ: TRUE), the most efficient and transparent way to find a car, and AutoNation, America's largest and most recognized automotive retailer, and DAV (Disabled American Veterans) today announced the awarding of a vehicle to medically retired Air Force Senior Airman Karah Behrend. The retrofitted 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was presented to Behrend in a surprise virtual ceremony featuring TrueCar's DrivenToDrive ambassador, Cory Remsburg, and TrueCar Military's brand ambassador, Jesse Iwuji, in conjunction with Veterans Day, November 11, 2020 at 10 am PT.
DrivenToDrive was inspired by Army Ranger and DrivenToDrive ambassador, Cory Remsburg, who influenced TrueCar's connection to the disabled veterans' community. The DrivenToDrive program helps injured veterans, like Behrend, who have greatly sacrificed for our country, regain their independence and get back behind the wheel of a retrofitted vehicle. This marks the fourth year and fifth vehicle donation through TrueCar's DrivenToDrive, a program built in partnership with DAV and AutoNation. The DrivenToDrive program took place remotely this year with a virtual ceremony on Veterans Day.
This year, TrueCar Military's brand ambassador, NASCAR Driver and Naval Officer, Jesse Iwuji, participated as a special guest in the 2020 DrivenToDrive program. He surprised Behrend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona with a brand-new 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.
"No one can see my disability when I'm behind the wheel of a car. Driving gives me a sense of freedom and the confidence that I'm not limited by my disability," said Airman Behrend. "Whether it's running errands or letting my adrenaline flow with off-road racing, I feel like I have my independence back when I'm driving. I'm proud of serving my country and so appreciative to be TrueCar's 2020 DrivenToDrive recipient. I cannot wait to drive my brand-new Chevy Colorado."
Behrend joined the Air Force in 2011 as a Signals Intelligence Analyst and spent approximately six and a half years in the military before medically retiring. She was diagnosed with RSD CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) that left her in a wheelchair. The 27-year-old's fighting spirit has led her to become an incredible adaptive athlete who participates in basketball and rugby Warrior Games. Additionally, Behrend is passionate about off-road racing and competes as an amateur rally racer; she recently placed second in the Rebelle Rally, the first women's off-road navigation rally raid in the United States.
Behrend plans to use the vehicle that she receives from the DrivenToDrive program to train other disabled individuals how to drive off-road with hand controls, in case they find themselves in a vulnerable situation or stuck off-road. She also has ambitions to create her very own hand controls for manual transmission vehicles, so adaptive drivers can drive stick shift cars.
"Retired Air Force Senior Airman Karah Behrend has broken down many barriers at such a young age, showing us that with resiliency and optimism, anything is possible. She continues to show strength by overcoming obstacles in her daily life. It makes us proud to support veterans like Karah, who have made great sacrifices for our country, through our DrivenToDrive program," said Mike Darrow, President & CEO of TrueCar. "We are honored to work again with our great partners, AutoNation and DAV, to empower our veterans to get behind the wheel."
"AutoNation is proud to partner with TrueCar on the DrivenToDrive program again this year and we are honored to award retired Air Force Senior Airman Karah Behrend with a brand-new vehicle for all of the sacrifices she made for our country," said Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer at AutoNation. "We are proud to recognize and support military members on Veterans Day through DrivenToDrive."
"TrueCar understands the impact America's veterans have had on keeping our nation safe, and DAV is honored to continue partnering with TrueCar on DrivenToDrive," said DAV National Adjutant and CEO Marc Burgess. "The fact that Karah, a DAV member, has pledged to use her new vehicle to help her fellow veterans perfectly illustrates her selflessness and commitment to her brothers and sisters in arms."
In addition to Airman Behrend, the DrivenToDrive virtual vehicle reveal event on Veterans Day was attended by:
DrivenToDrive Ambassador and Army Ranger, Cory Remsburg
TrueCar CEO & President, Mike Darrow
AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer, Marc Cannon
TrueCar is a leading automotive digital marketplace that enables car buyers to connect to our nationwide network of Certified Dealers. We are building the industry's most personalized and efficient car buying experience as we seek to bring more of the purchasing process online. Consumers who visit our marketplace will find a suite of vehicle discovery tools, price ratings and market context on new and used cars – all with a clear view of what's a great deal. When they are ready, TrueCar will enable them to connect with a local Certified Dealer who shares in our belief that truth, transparency and fairness are the foundation of a great car buying experience. As part of our marketplace, TrueCar powers car-buying programs for over 250 leading brands, including AARP, Sam's Club, and American Express. Nearly half of all new-car buyers engage with TrueCar powered sites, where they buy smarter and drive happier. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit www.truecar.com, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. TrueCar media line: +1-844-469-8442 (US toll-free) Email: email@example.com
AutoNation, America's largest and most recognized automotive retailer, is transforming the automotive industry through its bold leadership, innovation, and comprehensive brand extensions. As of September 30, 2020, AutoNation owned and operated over 325 locations from coast to coast. AutoNation has sold over 12 million vehicles, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. AutoNation's success is driven by a commitment to delivering a peerless experience through customer-focused sales and service processes. Since 2013, AutoNation has raised $25 million to drive out cancer, create awareness, and support critical research through its DRIVE PINK initiative, which was officially branded in 2015.
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promise to America's veterans. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America's injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their families, and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.