Military veterans in four countries were treated to free carwashes this past Veterans Day at over 2,887 carwash operations in four countries as thanks for their service. Carwash owners in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand participated in “Grace for Vets”, a one day event where veterans and active-duty personnel got their cars washed at no charge. The total number of free washes given in 2014 was estimated to exceed 233,000.
Started ten years ago by Mike Mountz, a carwash owner who operated four washes in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, Grace for Vets has grown each year since its start in 2004. Local operators in each country publicize the event to ensure that as many vets know about the free wash as possible. Vets could check the organization website – graceforvets.org – for participating carwashes in their area.
“It’s a great event and a super way to show the men and women who have done so much for us a small gesture of our appreciation,” stated Jack Anthony, owner of Seven Flags Carwash, which operates washes in northern California. “We are always amazed at how much goodwill is generated by the free washes, not only by those getting the free wash, but also by the rest of our customers,” he added.
Mountz hopes that the event will continue to grow in each of the four countries as well as in other countries that have yet to join in the event. “There are veterans, who have made incredible sacrifices, in every country who have fought to protect their countries and their way of life. I think they all should be honored”, he said. Ultimately, Mountz projects that over a million cars will be washed for free on an annual basis.
Participation in the event is easy as it only requires the carwash owner to sign up at the website and agree not to charge veterans for their carwash. The owners can then report their free wash totals to the website following the Veterans Day event.