The Basil 'Vehicles for Vets' has started! The final giveaway will be on August 14th at the Erie County Fair, also Veterans Day at the Fair - free admission to all those who are serving & have served! There will be 9 finalists total, and they can win a new car or $21,000 in Basil bucks towards the purchase of a vehicle.

 Alan D. Finn is our next finalist and he was nominated by his wife Jodi L. Finn! Here is what she wrote:

"I nominate Alan Finn because not everyone knows what war veterans go through or the reality of it because veteran's themselves don't usually talk about it, and for good reason as it is a very harsh reality that only 1% of the population lives. And I think more people should know about what these brave men and woman go through. The selfless sacrifice of their time served in war... It is unimaginable. As Alan Finns wife and being married 6 years he has slowly over time opened up to me and talked to me about his 14 years active duty and 6 deployments as a FMF (fleet Marine force) Combat Corpsman in the Navy working along side mostly marines and Navy too. His job was who he was it defined him as a person. He had a passion for taking care of his brothers. At 18 years old straight out of high school born and raised in a local small town Newfane, NY (near Lockport) he set off to do what his his mother told me he always wanted to do and that was to be a medic and take care of wounded Soldiers. And that is exactly what a Combat Corpsman does. As a little boy who always played with Army figurines constantly, he got to grow up and Pursue his dream of helping others and changing lives for our Military. Two years later at only 20 years old a day we will never forget it was 9/11. He was deployed to Iraq as apart of the initial invasion of Iraq. All of his training and skill as a Corpsman was now being put to use during one of the most terrifying times our Country has faced. As we all know that was and is one of the longest wars "Operation Iraqi freedom" then later renamed "Operation new dawn" by 2014 more then 1,000 U.S. Troops were killed and in 2005 it was over 2,000 and 2006 more then 3,000 and 2008 more then 4,000. (God rest their souls) . My husbands job was on the front lines in the midst of fire fight upon fire fight was to save the lives of the wounded and keep them alive on the battlefield the best he could until a medivac could safely land to take the wounded or deceased to the nearest hospital. He saved many lives and also held brothers in his arms as they took their last breath of life. One of the battles he was directly involved in is The Battle of Nasiriyah , 32 U.S. Troupes were killed 6 captured (1 of whom died in captivity) 60 wounded and 15 vehicles lost. That was from March 23, 2003- March 29, 2003. A short lived hell at a huge cost of lives lost and many forever changed. Some of the things my husband has shared with me that many of us take for granted was one Christmas he got a Christmas stocking sent by a random good samaritan and it blessed his heart (he still has that stocking today) and that night him and a few of his buddies shared a can of spam for Christmas dinner across the world, and to them that was a blessing and one of the best meals they had eaten in a while. He has also shared some very painful times during war with his brothers that I can't go into detail about out of respect for his privacy, but I will say he held the lives of all ages in his arms giving it his all to save them, both U.S. Troops and innocent Iraqi civilians, some made it some dos not. He has gone almost 7 days of no sleep other then 30 minutes here and there at most. And had to go 60 days without a shower because the reality is when your in the middle of a desert in a foreign country you don't get to wake up in the morning, shower and get ready for your day like all of us do. In 2013 he got out of the Military to be a family man in the civilian world with our two kids 2 years and 3 months old at the time. Another selfless act by giving up the job he loved and all he had known for so many years. The transition into a civilian lifestyle has not been easy. I remember right when he got out applying for jobs as simple as working in the meat department at a grocery store and getting turned down being told "sorry but you don't have the experience" all he was trying to do was continue to make a living and support his family. He did finally get work doing laborious jobs/ heavy lifting factory type jobs. He does whatever it takes to support his family even if that means working hard for little to no reward. But this is my view on it as his wife. If you ask him he would never ever complain, that's just not the type of person he is. You would never know if he even had a headache because he just keeps going and doing everything he can for us as a family...that is also what he did in his 13 years of service. He puts everyone before himself and is the most selfless kind person I've ever known. I'm proud and blessed to be his wife. I am nominating Alan for this new car contest because he gave up his well loved brand new Silverado in 2011 for a 2005 Tahoe to accommodate having children when our first baby was born then lost the Tahoe in 2013 when he couldn't afford the payments after leaving the military (honorably I might add) and being unemployed and not able to find work. Ever since he has been driving a 1997 Buick which is falling apart and every other week something new needs to be fixed on it. Having a new reliable car would really help his stress level as he does suffer from PTSD although he holds it all together very well . He is just a strong person and a rock in our family a living husband and father and the best man I ever met. Thank you for taking the time to read my nomination.