A police officer and another village employee teamed up with a business to help a struggling U.S. Army veteran in Mundelein fix his broken-down car by replacing all of his tires.
Mundelein Police Department Sgt. Michael Bush recently came across a vehicle in the parking lot of a hotel in Mundelein.
The vehicle had a missing rear tire and the tire rim was heavily damaged.
Bush inspected further and it appeared the owner of the vehicle was likely living out of the vehicle.
Bush had initially planned to let the hotel know that the vehicle needed to be removed and would soon be collecting citations due to its inoperability.
Bush later learned that the owner of the vehicle was currently staying at the hotel for a short time and his room was being paid for on a week-by-week basis by the veteran’s administration.
The hotel front desk staff explained that the man’s only means of transportation was his van and he did not have the money to make the repairs.
“It was obvious his vehicle had seen many miles and the owner said it would take some time for him to get the tire replaced as he had limited money and was hoping to find a junk yard to get a replacement tire and rim for the vehicle,” the Village of Mundelein said in a statement.
Bush reached out to Dan Friberg, Superintendent of Mundelein’s Vehicle Maintenance Division, and explained the situation to him.
“Dan was very responsive and helpful. He reached out to one of his professional contacts to see if he could find a used tire and rim to repair. Dan even offered to use his own money to help the Army vet,” Bush said.
Friberg’s associate, Daniel Vargas from Commercial Tire Service, was able to find a replacement rim and a used tire for the van.
It was learned the remaining three tires were also in poor shape.
A few days later, Vargas delivered the good news to Friberg and Bush that he located four new tires and had a replacement rim for the vehicle.
Friberg installed the tires and new rim free of charge on his day off of work.
Mundelein Village Administrator Eric Guenther said he commends everyone involved in helping the man.
“Their kind gestures, quick thinking, and take-charge attitude made a significant difference in this man’s life and the entire course of events is an excellent example of teamwork at its best,” Guenther said.
“To the two Mundelein employees involved, I applaud your efforts. You both emulate the characteristics that I like to see in our staff, and you are a shining example of the best of the Village of Mundelein,” Guenther added.