By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE ‑ It was a day meant to honor the ones who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
On July 15, Valley Propane and Fuels in Dansville donated a total of $3,000 from the Warrior Truck to three different organizations. Valley Fuel General Manager Bill LaVallee chose Wayland American Legion, Dansville American Legion and Bath Veterans Hospital this year.
LaVallee chose to honor the Bath VA Rehabilitant and Addiction Program with a $1,000 donation. The money will be used to help support that much needed program.
The Warrior Truck is a unique symbol in the community. It has been seen in parades, festivals, and down familiar roads. The truck was created in 2007 to honor local war heroes. At the time there were three military men working at the company. This resonated with what the company stands for.
“Our heart is in this every single year. The guys take really good care of this truck. They touch it up and make sure it looks great before going on the road. We take a lot of pride in the Warrior Truck,” LaVallee said. “We will always donate to the Wayland American Legion. I have a lot of respect for what Kevin Mark does at the legion for veterans. He puts so much into everything he does.”
Valley Fuel Employee, Bob Banfield served the US Coast Guard from 1969-73.
Banfield said it was important to him when he started at Valley Fuel a couple years ago to work with a company that supported veterans.
“It is important to me that this company shows patriotism and cares about the country. They appreciate the sacrifices both big and small that veterans have made. This is how a company grows in supporting American ideals,” he said. “I gave four years for my country. I never fought overseas, but I served my country. I traveled from the North to South Poles.”
Lynn Reagle, Dansville American Legion post commander received a $1,000 donation from Valley Fuel.
“Dansville has a memorial fund we care for the veterans park and the new memorial wall we just revealed. It shows all of our fallen war heroes back to World War One. We do Project Christmas every year for the community. We have done that for 45 years. We give back to the community every year,” he said. “We had to do even more last year due to the high demand from Covid 19. There were a lot more families in need last year because of Covid 19.”
Reagle said he is very grateful for the care and support from Valley Fuel.
Kevin Mark, Wayland American Legion post commander received a $1,000 donation from Valley Fuel.
Mark said the donation will be used to continue the efforts in supporting local veterans.
“I think it is cool that Valley Fuel has the backbone to give back to the veterans every year. You don’t see a lot of businesses doing that anymore. They have been doing this so many years. They always do an awesome job for us,” he said. “What they have here with this Warrior Truck is 100 percent Americanism. They give a discount to veterans. They donate to veterans every year. This is patriotism.”
LaVallee said the discount for veterans is five cents off per gallon on propane.
“This is a noble cause that we continue to do every year. We will continue to give back to our veterans,” he said. “We will keep the Warrior Truck around forever. I am glad that (former owner) Larry Gnau started this a long time ago. This has always been a group effort.”