CoAuto awards free car to local veteran for the 5th year in a row

RENO, NV (KOLO) Behind door number three at CoAuto, veteran Arno Squellati comes face to face with a car he desperately needs.

The 20-year veteran says he had fallen on tough times.

Surgeries, and other challenges he now has a job and a fiancee and was selected by the Veterans Resource Center to be this year's CoAuto recipient for a free car.

This 1997 Ford Explorer was donated a little less than a year ago.

It's not new.

So mechanics here at CoAuto worked on the vehicle during down time.

After five years the process is pretty routine.

But this year, the donor himself was a veteran, and it was his terminally ill wife who wanted her car to get into the right hands.

“Why not donate it to a Veteran who can utilize it and enjoy it,” says Don Bowland who took the car to CoAuto this past summer to donate to the program

It's a labor of love for employees who work here, and for one new employee it was the reason he came to work at CoAuto.

“It gives a little more meaning to fixing the vehicle you know, when you know the situation behind it,” says Jordan Hill, CoAuto Master Technician.

For Squellati, it's another small miracle in his life that he says is back on track.

He's grateful he says to everyone who made this day possible.

“You know when life throws you down it is very tough to get up,” says Squellati. “But there are people who have hearts and a few extra resources and they are willing to give you a hand up,” he says.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019