Skip to comments.Marine good samaritan receives gracious gift from community
Posted on 10/20/2005 5:35:24 PM PDT by SandRat
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2005) -- Good things really do happen to good people.
At least thats what Cpl. Matthew Castaneda found out months after saving a 71-year-old woman from her burning car.
Two weeks after being recognized by the city of Oceanside for his heroic efforts Sept. 21, Castaneda, an electronic technician with 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group, received a good deed of his own. His 2000 Dodge Stratus, which needed more than $5,000 worth of repairs, was going to be fixed for free.
To us as a family its a really big deal, said Castaneda, a San Clemente native. You never really expect anything back.
Castanedas car was fixed for free thanks to North County Warriors Support, a non-profit organization, who with help from local businesses and benefactors donates everything from clothes to car parts for needing Marines and family members.
North County Warriors was contacted by the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society with Castanedas situation. His vehicle needed work, and they were happy to help.
Some of these kids need help, said Jack Gierster, who founded North County Warriors with his wife Sue in March 2003. What we do is minuscule compared to what (Marines) do.
With working two jobs on the side of his Marine career and helping his mother-in-law fix her house, Castaneda and his family werent going to have the funds to repair his car.
As soon as the Giersters heard Castanedas story from NMCRS, they were happy to get North County Warriors involved.
When I first talked to my wife, I said she wasnt going to believe it, said Castaneda, remembering the day when he found out his car would be fixed for free.
North County Warriors presented Castaneda with his vehicle Oct. 6 at Funday RV Service, the business owned by the Giersters. It was then that Castaneda found out the extent of work put into his car. He also got to meet some of the members of North County Warriors, a group of modest volunteers who were happy to donate their time for a good cause.
Its my way of serving my country, said Dwayne Kernes, owner of Lucky Towing, who towed Castanedas car for free from San Clemente to Funday RV Service.
Local businesses of North County Warrior Support donated and installed a new motor, a new transmission and a new exhaust manifold for the vehicle. They also took the time to clean the car and give it a full tank of gas.
North County Warriors didnt hear that Castaneda had saved someone until after tackling the project of fixing his car. For them, it was an added bonus of helping someone who had helped another.
They are all heroes, said Gierster. To go into the Marines and do what they do, they are all heroes.
Marine gets a Thank You!
Its people like these that make me glad I am an American
Awesome response all around! Can't thank these folks enough for their service!
A nice story...even nicer is a loal dealership would give the Marine a new car...You don't do $5000 worth of worth on a car work half that..
Great story - thanks for posting.
Of course, you ruined the surprise. I expected to hear this on NPR tommorow on the way to work.
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