Toyota Surprised Local Veterans in a Big Way on Veterans Day

By Editor November 15, 2016 08:30

(Featured Photo Credit: Melina Zuniga/

By Melina Zuniga

Cronkite Special to

Honoring soldiers and their families this Veterans Day was Scion by Toyota, who surprised three local veterans by buying out the current leases on their 2014 Toyota Scion’s.

Partnered with the Military Assistance Mission, Toyota awarded the keys to brand new Scion XB vehicles to deserving veterans on behalf of a video submission contest that took place in 2014, which allowed the winning veterans the opportunity to get back on their feet.

Photo Credit: Melina Zuniga/

Photo Credit: Melina Zuniga/

With over $53,000 paid off, Abel Bautista of Akwatukee was one of the three recipients to express his gratitude towards Scion for Soldiers and Toyota. “To anyone else, it’s just a car; but it got us out of a really big hole,” said Bautista.

With no license and being unemployed due to reoccurring seizures and a traumatic brain injury, Bautista and his three children depend on of his wife, Shayna. “I don’t think people really know what a blessing it is to have a reliable car,” said Shayna. “When we first got the call, we all started crying.”

Photo Credit: Melina Zuniga/

Photo Credit: Melina Zuniga/

The Bautista’s previous vehicle would break down and overheat constantly – but despite their struggle, Abel originally did not want to submit a video to enter the contest. “We don’t ask for help,” said Shayna in conjunction to her husband, who also said, “I’m not used to asking for help, but I understand that it was for the family.”

In partnership with Toyota Financial Services, the Valley Toyota Dealers Association and Toyota Motor Sales Scion manager, Bruce Papich thanked the three veterans for their heroic sacrifices for our country and the Scion for Soldiers program for supporting the veterans.

“Thank you to Toyota for your assistance and for anyone else who made this happen,” said Abel. “I didn’t think you could do more than what you already did, but you went above that, so thank you.”


By Editor November 15, 2016 08:30

Follow Us