Arpin Van Lines’ driver embarks on personal campaign to honor veterans and first responders
Paul Chavez, a driver for Arpin Van Lines and former U.S. Army specialist, knows the sacrifice that veterans and first responders make.
“They often go through long separations that can be very difficult on a personal level and put strain on their families,” said Chavez. “Everybody in the service chooses it, but some occupations are thankless and they don’t get the recognition they deserve. I wanted to come up with a way to show my appreciation for all they have given.”
Two years ago, Chavez began to purchase commemorative Rockwell watches, each bearing the insignia of a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and offer them as a gift to the veterans he moved.
“They were touched and some were even moved to tears because no one had taken the time to recognize their service and sacrifice.”
After giving away dozens of watches, he began to include first responders such as police and firefighters. Chavez also offers them T-shirts bearing the word “freedom” and the American flag.
Now, Chavez captures each presentation with a photo and, if the service member is willing, he shares the picture and member’s story on his Facebook profile. His Facebook wall features dozens of veterans and first responders who received a watch.
“One time, I presented a watch to an Army cook who was overcome with emotion because no one took the time to recognize him during his career. Sometimes we offer all the glory to people on the front lines, but we must remember that our Armed Forces are made up of hundreds of thousands of support personnel who all contribute equally to the mission of defending our country.”
Chavez is actively involved in the Police Softball World Series, now in its 13th year, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and fallen law enforcement officer families and gathers 1100 police officers from across the U.S. and Canada. This year, he is giving the opening invocation and will present watches to the winning team. He will also present the first Rockwell Arpin Award to a police officer who has solved a hard case that was previously considered unsolvable. The Police Softball World Series is scheduled for October 13, 2017.
Today, Chavez estimates that he has given out over 125 watches.
“Everyone has a story to tell. I’m trying to do my small part to help get their stories heard,” said Chavez.
About Arpin Van Lines:
Arpin Van Lines is an industry innovator in full-service moving and storage solutions for corporate, private residential, government and military customers with a network of over 300 affiliated agencies. Headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island, Arpin Van Lines is the domestic U.S. arm of Arpin Group, which also includes Arpin International Group, Creative Storage Solutions, Arpin Associates, Arpin Renewable Energy and Arpin Broadcast Network. With over 100 years of experience, Arpin Van Lines has remained owned and operated by the Arpin family, continuing the tradition and the core values of Creating Customers For Life®. It is a ProMover® member of the American Moving and Storage Association and the official mover of the LPGA. For more information, call 1-800-343-3500 or visit www.Arpin.com.