By | 09/04/2017

Through our partnership with Ford, AAA Network of Savings Service Provider Benefits launched the second annual Real Heroes of the Road campaign this year. Service providers were invited to submit their most rewarding road service experience for a chance to win $30,000 towards a new Ford truck and other valuable prizes from Network of Savings preferred suppliers GCC, Goodyear, LSI, Pop-A-Lock, Santander and Zip’s AW Direct. Thank you to all who entered. “To say that it was difficult to select a winner from the nearly 400 stories received this year is an understatement.” said Bob Huffman, Director AAA Network of Savings Service Provider Benefits.

Congratulations to all this year’s winners! This is just one of the small ways that we can recognize the dedication and commitment put forth by our roadside assistance providers every day.

Place Business Name City, State Club Prize
1) Priest Brothers Wrecker Service Lawton, OK 176 - AAA Oklahoma $30,000 towards a new Ford
2nd) Affordable Locksmith Franklin, TN 014 - AAA Auto Club South $1,500 Goodyear eGift Certificate
3rd) GP's Prendergast Towing Florence, AZ 002 - AAA Arizona $250 eGift Certificate from Zip's AW Direct
3rd) Zuroff Repair Inc Hebron, ND 113 - AAA North Dakota $250 eGift Certificate from Zip's AW Direct
All winners receive a trophy sponsored by GCC, and Google Home Speaker from Santander Bank.

Winning Story

MOST MEMORABLE WRECKER CALL

On December 26, 2016 about 3:25 p.m., Priest Brothers received a call from AAA. Call # 5592 was for Paul Matthaus located at a gas station in Elgin, Oklahoma. We dispatched our wrecker driver to the call. Upon arrival and speaking with Mr. Matthaus, he realized something wasn’t quite right. Our driver called and explained to us the customer was very confused and couldn’t tell him how he got there, where he was from, or where he was going. We discussed that the man seemed to be showing some signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The only number we had was to the store where he was located. We called AAA but were unable to obtain more information, so we called the Elgin police for some help. They said all that could be done was to put him in a cell until they could find out where he belonged. We just did not feel good about him staying in a cell. We decided at that moment to load him, his truck and bring both back to our shop in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Kenneth got on Google and searched the name in Krum Texas. He was able to locate a name and Paul Priest contacted his wife, Becky. She was dreading the news of the phone call, but when she learned he had been found safe, she was thrilled. There was a silver alert out for him as he had left his home Christmas day and had not been seen since.

Paul talked with Becky the decision was made to meet about half way at a restaurant south of Wichita Falls, Texas to return him to her care. She could not believe that we would go to all that trouble to safely deliver him to her. So about 5:30 p.m. Paul left to take him back. It was an eventful trip with Mr. Matthaus to say the least. During the trip, some agitation came about, but mostly conversation. He was very confused about present time happenings but talked and recalled a lot about childhood and early events.

We arrived at the restaurant before his wife, so I ordered him something to eat while we waited. He couldn’t remember if he was married or not, but when I asked him who “Becky” was his eyes lit up and he said with great expression “Becky!!” As soon as Becky arrived, he recognized her and we put him into her van. He laid down in the back seat and went right to sleep.

Becky and I visited while he slept and gave me some insight into this man. Becky stated he was a remarkable and talented man. He was a German man who climbed the Berlin wall to escape. He came to the United States at the age of 31 and was a custom welder for Boeing. He was also a metals designer. She said he was 76 years old and had a heart condition. Becky also agreed with me that he looked totally exhausted and probably hadn’t eaten anything since leaving the house Christmas morning.

We have kept in touch with Mrs. Becky Matthaus through cards from time to time. I spoke with Becky and she let us know that Mr. Matthaus is still with us, although he is now receiving Hospice care. He is able to walk and talk and she continues to send Thanks and Blessings for our unbelievable service. She said it is beyond her thinking that someone would go to those lengths to do what we did and not charge anything.

All we can say is IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Our Dad, Howard E. Priest, started towing for AAA around 1972 and in 1985 was given the “HOWARD PRIEST “award for his service. My brother Kenneth and I have big shoes to fill and we strive every day to do just that. This was a team effort and I am very proud of everyone that was involved.

Paul Priest

UPDATE: SILVER ALERT discontinued for Denton Co. missing man

Author: KYTX

Published: 5:40 PM CST December 26, 2016

Updated: 5:54 PM CST December 26, 2016

UPDATE: The Denton County Sheriff's Office has discontinued the Silver Alert for Paul Matthaus. No further information is available at this time.

EARLIER:

The Denton County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing man diagnosed with a cognitive impairment.

Paul Matthaus was last seen on Christmas day around 3 p.m. in Krum, Texas. He was driving a gray colored 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 truck with a black bumper guard and a Texas license plate of AF06268.Matthaus is 76 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches and 150 pounds. He has greay hair, brown eyes and was wearing a navy t-shirt and blue jeans.Law enforcement officials believe this senior citizen’s disappearance poses a credible threat to his own health and safety.

If you have any information regarding this missing senior citizen, contact the Denton County Sheriff’s

Watch 2017 the video

Last year the AAA Service Provider Network of Savings held a contest asking Service Providers to share stories of their most rewarding experiences on the job, in order to identify and reward "Real Heroes of the Road." Thank you to all who participated! And, congratulations to the following AAA service providers for winning the Ford Real Heroes of the Road Contest!

Place Contractor Contractor Prize AAA Club
1st Fox City's Towing A 2017 Ford F150 truck ($30K value) Auto Club Group
2nd Carlton Automotive Four Goodyear tires ($1,500 value) Auto Club Group
Tie 3rd J & F Auto Repair and Towing $250 AW Direct e-Gift Certificate AAA Hoosier Motor Club
Tie 3rd Morton's Towing $250 AW Direct e-Gift Certificate AAA Club Alliance Inc

The winner selection committee hard a hard time selecting. They reviewed the stories and scored based on heroic effort. Any information other than the story content, including geographic references, were screened out for judging purposes. While only 3 were supposed to win, the stories were so compelling that the committee, could only narrow it down to 4.Last year the AAA Service Provider Network of Savings held a contest asking Service Providers to share stories of their most rewarding experiences on the job, in order to identify and reward "Real Heroes of the Road." Thank you to all who participated!

The winning submission came from Fox City's Towing in Greenville, Wisconsin, and involved some special assistance provided to a woman in a dire situation. The prize for the company is a 2017 F150 work truck, provided by AAA Network of Savings preferred supplier, Ford Motor Company. The AAA Network of Savings is incredibly proud and grateful for the winners, and all of our AAA service providers who go the extra mile in helping of our members each and every day.

To learn more about the Ford Network of Savings program, contact AAA Automotive Network of Savings Account Executive, Chantay Tarver: (407) 444-7255.

All 2017 Real Heroes of the Road Stories

"On November 6, 2006, Almazo’s Towing went into service and started taking calls. My shift began at noon. My district manager and I walked to the dispatch center, and by 12:05 p.m. I got my first call. At that moment, I realized that we had made the right decision to work for AAA Washington. Now, 11 years later, after thousands of calls, we’re still providing service with joy and pride in helping people. There are a lot of stories we could share, but there is always that special one that stands out. For us, that special one occurred on June 7, 2016, at which time Almazo’s Towing and Roadside Service was doing battery service. Paul from dispatch called me and told me there was a member whose battery had died and she was late for her own birthday party. At that moment, I called my driver Brady, and asked him his location; he let me know he was just about to run into a grocery store to use the restroom before heading to his next call. I asked him to do me a favor and please reroute to complete this new call I had first, letting him know the situation of the member being late to a special gathering – to celebrate her 90th birthday. He said he’d head there right away. About 25 minutes later, Brady sent me a picture. It was the picture of a birthday card and a 'Happy Birthday' balloon which he’d purchased with his own money and given to the 90 year-old member for her birthday. He described that she was close to tears because she felt the gesture was so unexpected and so special coming from someone who did not even know her, and it made her day.
As an owner, I am so proud of having wonderful employees such as this who would make such a kind gesture purely from the heart. When my district manager heard the story and shared with others, AAA Washington created the “Superhero Award.” We are so proud to be the first company to have received such an award in our area! We work hard to continue providing the best customer service we can, going the extra mile when we can just to see someone smile."

― Jorge Almazo, Almazo's Towing and Roadside Service, LLC

"The experiences that I have as a roadside tech have made me realize that it is not only about fixing and repairing autos, it's about helping and protecting those with emergency situations, such as a woman or man changing their tires on the highway, an elderly person leaving their keys in the ignition, or a school bus full of children stranded in an express road with no shoulder room, etc.

I have come to see that I'm not only helping people, I am also protecting the children. The Bensalem Township School District letter is hung up in the office to remind the colleagues that every day we work is for a purpose."

― Brian Jacksonprophete, Elite Towing

"We are a family owned and operated business since 1970. We have been towing for AAA for many years and strive to do our best daily. We take pride in all that we do here at Darrell's Service. The word FAMILY means a great deal to us, our employees, and our customers.

We received a AAA call about 9am on a Saturday morning, regarding a family that was broken down on I70 near Topeka. Our driver, Richard, was dispatched to handle the call. When he arrived, the customer approached and asked about how long it would take. Richard notice how upset he was, and asked if there was something he needed him to do first.

The customer explained that his father was ill, and he was en route to Stormont-Vail hospital. Richard notified Darrell's, and Rebecca headed out with her vehicle to take the family to Stormont-Vail. The customer was so thankful on the route to the hospital. I just let them know that if my family member was on the road, I would pray that someone would give them the same type of service. The family was very pleased with our service, and they asked that we also bring the vehicle back to our shop to fix it. Once the family was all better and their vehicle was fixed, their father arrived at our shop to say thank you."

― Rebecca and Kevin Colhouer, Darrell's Service

"Out of the 40 years of towing the most memorable is: upon returning from a tow and recovery some 45 miles from our shop, I was returning about 12:00 AM and about 2 miles from the shop, on a quiet and deserted evening. I just happen to notice a reflection down in a deep ditch as I rounded a curve, which caught my attention.

Being curious, I pulled over just past that and went to look, and found a car deep in the ditch, no lights on, or signs of any activity. At first, I thought it was from an earlier accident. I had to look inside the vehicle and found what appeared to be a person in the rear area, which looked like a rag doll.

The side glass was broken out, so upon further investigation, I found a non-responsive female in the rear area of the car. I was unable to find a pulse, and she was very cold. I called 911 for the rescue squad, which luckily was only some 4 miles away. She was transported to the nearest hospital and, despite all odds, recovered.

Shortly after this I received a Christmas Card from her thanking me for my attention and help. She explained that she had recently had heart surgery and, if she would have not been treated within that short time frame, she would have died. She went on to further state that, without my intervention, she would never had seen her children grow, and the burden that that would have placed on her husband.

In the card, she called me her Angel, which I will never forget. As I pass that location daily, I remember that cold fall evening.

Of all of the serious recoveries and sad stories, it is nice to become part of someone's destiny and future dreams. You have to believe in destiny, and there is an order to why we are here and the actions we are part of. For me, it is heartwarming – especially around Christmas time. Merry Christmas to all of you and your extended families!"

― Richard Burby, RJS Towing, LLC


"The most rewarding road service experience I’ve ever had occurred a few years ago during a snowstorm. AAA suspended home light service due to a snow emergency the news referred to as, 'snowmageddon.' Only AAA emergency calls were being run at that time. I was assigned a priority call in the late afternoon for a tire change on 355 in Clarksburg, right outside of our Clarksburg office. Unfortunately, nobody was at the Clarksburg office to assist, so I left from my house in my truck with four-wheel drive. On a normal day, the drive from my house to said breakdown location is about 10 minutes. Due to the weather and traffic, it took me about 30-45 minutes to arrive on location. Upon arrival, it had already snowed three feet, and it just wasn’t letting up. It was below freezing and nightfall was approaching. The member’s Chevy Silverado was stuck in the snow with a flat tire. To keep himself warm, he kept his vehicle on and was running out of gas. On top of everything else, his phone was dying. Anything that could go wrong was going wrong. If I didn’t get there, he could’ve been stuck out there all night. When I arrived on location, I let him sit in my truck with the heat on to save his remaining gas and keep warm. The spare tire is kept underneath the vehicle. In addition to the relentless snowfall continuously burying this man’s truck, the spare would not release! This is a typical defect amongst Chevys. What was I supposed to do? Dig the snow out and lie under this truck and slide the rusted safety catch to release the spare manually? You’re darn right I did. After about 20 minutes of digging, I finally managed to jack the truck up and install the spare tire. The member was ready to rock and roll, only his truck was stuck. I couldn’t just leave him there. I attached tow straps to our trucks and managed to extricate him. We finally got him on the go, but I remembered the member mentioning that he was low on gas. I emptied my gas can into his tank and followed him to the nearest gas station to make sure he would make it safely. While it may have seemed inconvenient for me to leave my house in a snowstorm, there was somebody else out there that was way more inconvenienced than myself. The member just wanted to get home safely, and that task was entrusted to me. This is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had simply because the relief on the member’s face was priceless. It was a nasty situation for the member to be in, and it could have ended very differently if I did not show up in a timely manner. As mentioned, everything that could go wrong was heading in that direction, but I was able to get him on the road and headed home to his family."

― Justin Frye, Morton's Towing

"On the day of 8/26/2017, there was a Vietnam Memorial Wall being escorted through Main Street to the VA in Butler, PA. It had an escort of over 1,000 motorcycles, many vehicles and three helicopters. However, when they took off from the church, one of the helicopters would not start – dead battery. The owner called AAA for a jump-start – obviously not covered! The owner only had about 20 minutes before he would be grounded because of the amount of daylight left. The problem was that it is a 24-volt system, and nobody had 24-volt jump boxes. I have worked with heavy equipment in the past and knew that I could tie two 12-volt boxes in series. The owner contacted his mechanic in Texas to confirm. I got him going and had to put everything back together myself because, once it was running, the pilot could not get back out. I did not charge him – wouldn't know what to charge. But the bragging rights were enough. Two days later, I was talking with one of my dispatchers and all the dispatchers at AAA were still talking about having a jump start on a helicopter. Just another odd call for the books. I once also had to unlock an airplane at the local airport."

― Mike Burr, Jack Hockenberger Motors


"The last week of August this year, we received a call to pick up a couple on the side of the road that had broken down heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from North Carolina to visit family. My driver was training a new driver at that time, and when they arrived, they found that the man was a paraplegic that had been injured in the military. He was a young man, around 40 years of age, with his wife and their dog.

They had multiple wreckers turn them down, simply because he could not get up into the truck. But the young man stayed positive and kept making calls. Once he reached us and explained the situation, my driver called me and we sent a car to pick them up. We then brought them back to our shop and made arrangements to take them to Milwaukee.

The gentleman had AAA, but they would only cover 200 miles and only for one vehicle. Upon calling AAA and discussing the circumstances, they decided that they would cover 200 miles for two vehicles! Not only were we able to tow their car to get repaired, as there was a hole in the oil pan, but we were able get the maximum coverage from AAA.

To put the icing on the cake, both of my drivers had been on duty for about 6 hours at that point. However, my driver and the training driver, even on his first day, said they wanted to be the ones to take them to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Indianapolis, Indiana! Not only would that make it a 12- 14 hour day for my drivers, we even took the customer an extra 139 miles more than his membership would pay, and my drivers wanted to do it without any further charge to the customer and without taking pay for doing it.

This customer was so full of life and spirit and positivity it was overflowing from him into our drivers. What a great experience to be able to, even if in just a small way, serve a man that has served our country so bravely. To keep that smile and grace in the face of such adversity, such an ugly situation, was all the payment we needed. And although he kept saying how blessed he felt that God sent him a couple of angels to help him, it was truly us that was shown the face of an angel."

― John Epley, J & F Auto Repair and Towing

"As many know, this business is a physical and emotional roller coaster business. One thing that every man or woman has in the business is stories, lots and lots of unique stories. Anytime that you meet a fellow colleague you can spend hours discussing these stories. The craziest part is that everyone knows that no situation is the same and no story ends the same in the towing business.

One story that has always stuck out in my mind is one that seems so small but made a major impact in my views and how I train all of my guys today.

When I was working as a Battery Service technician, it was in the middle of a normal slam-packed AAA day in Wisconsin when I got called out for a simple jump start behind one of the local Kwik Trip gas stations. The customer did not have a phone number, which is a constant plague in the business, but I was close by so I went. Upon arriving on scene, I noticed this old van parked in the back of the gas station behind the car wash. I hopped out of the van with my jump pack and tester, with a smile on my face, and immediately noticed that the woman had been crying. As a man, it is sometimes awkward to ask what's wrong, so I tried to focus on other things and help her out with her car problem. Once the hood was opened, I saw that the terminal on her battery was in rough shape and the battery was very old. I performed the battery test and my suspicions were confirmed that her battery was bad. At this point, I told her how the battery service works and advised her that we could replace the battery right now. At this point, she started crying hysterically, and I asked what was wrong. In short, she described how she was in an abusive relationship and, with the help of a friend, she left in the middle of the night with a little bit of cash and as many belongings as she could fit in her van. She was headed to a relative and stopped for the night to sleep. But at this point, she was low on cash and had a mechanical problem. There really was no solution that I could offer her with her financial situation.

As a technician I really could not do anything for her except jump start her car and head to my next service call. But for some reason, I was really having a hard time not helping her more. On my own dime, I decided to replace the terminal and battery in her vehicle. I advised her that AAA would cover the cost of the battery, even though they would not and I decided to do it for her. Once completed, I told her that I needed to run to the gas station quick to wash my hands. I grabbed her a gas card so that she had enough fuel to make the remainder of her trip. I gave that to her and told her that was from me and she refused at first, but I told her that it was important to me to help her out. She thanked me and I left. So I went on with my day and stopped at the bank and got the cash out for the battery, and never mentioned that I covered the cost of the battery.

It was about two months later that we received a letter in the mail from her with a check for the amount of the battery and the gift card. I still to this day am not really sure how she figured all that out, but she did. It was a short note. I wish I still had that letter, but I can tell you one thing – I will never, ever forget it. It made me feel like I actually made a difference. She described how she got a job and is back on her feet, and she is happier now than she has been for a very long time. She claimed that I made a difference.

Fast forward to today... I now own the company and have an awesome team behind me. I always tell my guys that if you feel like helping someone out because you feel like they actually need it, do it and I will reimburse you, no questions asked. The reason I feel that this is important is because philanthropy is something that is lost in today's greed. You only get out of this world what you put into it. At the end of the day it was no big deal, but I was a 21 year old that was short on money. It seemed like a lot to me, but it has paid me back exponentially with how I run my business and view people to this day. It is crazy how something that I kept to myself for so long turned out to be so deep and good for me and my future. When I get lost in the moment and forget the importance of real life, I try to remember the feeling I had that day."

― Nicholas Van, Fox City's Towing LLC

"We are in a rural area. My husband and I who (run this business) saw a car on the side of the road with a family, so we stopped. There were two adults, three kids, and the family dog. The wife was panicked that something was very wrong with her husband, and she had no phone reception. He was incoherent, and it was obvious something was very wrong. So we got the family safely to town and made sure he got help. Turns out he was just released from the hospital and was suffering a really bad case of blood poisoning from the infection. Quite literally, he could have died had we not stopped! The family was very appreciative and left a very nice review on our page for saving the day for them."

― Katherine Baars, Allstar Towing and Recovery


"June 24, 2015 Sherman Oaks, CA, 11:23 a.m., sizzling hot and immensely sunny.

Mr. Abrams, 303A is reconciling the daily balance sheet in his office as he's done for the past 37 years, when he hears the too familiar sound of the D/2000 chimes. Sherman Oaks Club Service, Inc., a 5 Diamond Auto Club Preferred Contract Station, has just received service call #65798. He listens as the attentive and concerned dispatcher calls Kilo and advises, 'Hot Call, SB 101 near Van Nuys Blvd., off-ramp,very narrow shoulder.' The dispatcher continues to advise the tow operator, 'Member involved in an accident with a newborn baby.'

Mr. Abrams quickly leaves his balance sheet and walks into the dispatch office. He instructs the dispatcher to call the member and advise, 'The tow operator is on his way, 5 minutes ETA, and a passenger vehicle is also coming to assist the mother and baby.'

Mr. Abrams quickly gets into his personal vehicle and, with cold water in hand, arrives at the dangerous scene of the accident. There he notices a two-car collision. The Honda Accord that has been rear-ended to the fuel tank is emitting gas fumes. The gas tank is exposed and the vehicle has lost it's rear bumper and other body parts. The Honda Accord was carrying the mother and a newborn baby. The concerned mother was struggling to get her baby out of the car. The California Highway Patrol had not yet arrived, nor had the tow truck operator. The concerned mother told Mr. Abrams that the seat belt securing the baby seat is stuck and is not functioning. Mr. Abrams, knowing how dangerous it is to be in a disabled vehicle on the freeway, quickly took over the situation and managed to unhook the non-functioning seat belt. The mother, Angelina, and her baby were quickly put into Mr. Abrams cool vehicle as the tow operator arrived. He offered to take mother and baby to emergency room, and she advised that they be taken to a family friend's home on Coldwater Canyon, Studio City.

Although after just being in a rear-end accident and in a 100-plus sizzling degrees, the baby remained calm and quiet; maybe knowing that she was in good hands, a 'Highway Heroes' hands.

Beyond dedicated service, Mr. Abrams and all the men and women that assist our members are heroes, Highway Heroes that Have H.E.A.R.T."

― Abrams Abrahemian, Sherman Oaks Club Service, Inc.

"During the month of July 2010, I received a call for a tow from Elizabeth City, NC to Virginia Beach, VA – about a 50 mile tow. There were no passengers riding, so I asked my Dad if he wanted to go on a ride with me. He said yes, and after dropping the vehicle off, we were actually able to stop and have lunch together – as we all know, that's almost an impossible task in this industry.

There is a 30-mile stretch of desolate highway along that trip that is aligned with nothing except farming fields and swamps. Within that stretch, just a few miles before the state line, we spotted a black Yukon sitting on the side of the highway with its hood up. It was in the bright sun on a 100 degree day. We pulled to the side of the road to see if they needed any assistance. As i approached the vehicle there was a woman with her two elderly parents trying to hide in the little bit of shade the Yukon cast on the passenger side of the vehicle. They said they needed help – their vehicle was overheated, though they were worried about the price. I told them I was going that way and would only charge them $40, even though it was a 30-mile ride back. They were very grateful.

We were in a Freightliner extended cab rollback, so luckily we had enough room for everyone. I started loading the vehicle while my dad assisted them into the air-conditioned truck. At that time, the elderly man started going into a diabetic seizure. Everybody started to panic. The Yukon was halfway on the bed. I finished loading it as quick as I could and put the pedal to the floor as I tried to call 911. Cell service did not work right at the state line, so it was a few miles down the road before I was able to contact someone from 911. When I finally did, it somehow connected me to Virginia 911 and we were in NC, with the closest hospital in NC. Virginia 911 tried to help though, and recommended that I hang up and call back. Meanwhile in the back, My Dad and the two family members were trying to help him and give him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich they had for him, though not very successful as he was foaming from the mouth.

I finally got NC 911 on the phone, explained my situation, which highway I was on, and where we were headed. They kept me on the phone until about 10 minutes later, when I finally saw some blue lights heading our way. It was a NC State Trooper. He made a u-turn, and we pulled over to the side of the road. He told me there was an ambulance just a few minutes behind him, and to start getting the man out of the truck. As we were doing so, we gratefully saw the ambulance coming. We got him out and in the ambulance within minutes of the trooper arriving.

I was advised later that day by the family that the man had made a full recovery. The medical staff advised them that another few minutes without medical attention the man would have been in a coma and probably would not have made it. They also tried insisting I take a $100 bill from them, and I would not accept it. I was just grateful to have been able to help that day. They thanked me and my Dad over and over again.

Two days later, the man came to visit me at my office and thank us himself. It was great to see him and it gave such a good feeling inside. The following day there was an article in the newspaper the family had wrote about my father, my company, and myself saving their loved ones life. Besides that being my most rewarding roadside experience, it was also one of the best life experiences I have ever had."

― Michael Weisz, Pro Tow and Recovery, LLC

"On my way back from a call, I noticed a couple with three children alongside the road, attempting to change a tire on a Dodge Caravan. What was strange was the wife was going through the motions and the husband was watching. I pulled over and walked up to them. Now, it was one of those extremely hot days, and the first thing the husband asked was, 'Do you have water"' I carry an abundant supply of water in my vehicles, so I got a bottle for each one.

Come to find out, the husband had a severe medical problem and could not help. The wife was small and seemed fragile, so the obvious happened: I assisted. You know the type of Dodge that has the spare tire in the middle of the vehicle... Open a drawer, remove a pad from the console, and reach down and lower the tire. Then lay on your back, and if you do not have a hook to drag it out, as I have made one up, reach in lift tire and remove cable. Yeah you know what I’m talking about. They did not even know how to operate the jack. After it was finished, I got a big hug – best tip of the day. Felt good about it all day long."

― Wayne Williams, Gaines Garage

T9 Call 8311, September 23, 2017: "The cherry on top"
"On Friday, September 23, 2017, at about 7pm, Affordable Roadside Service Technician Robert Hay was notified by AAA dispatch. The dispatcher started the request by saying, 'We know you're the guy for a special request.' He was asked if he would mind going to the Giant Grocery store in Severna Park, MD, to pick up a member who was waiting to have her car towed and take her home to Glen Burnie.

The issue was that she had been waiting a very extended period of time for the tow, which was still not on location. Robert advised, 'No problem,' and went en route with an eta of less than 10 minutes.

While en route, he stopped across the street from the member's location at a McDonald's. Noticing that the drive-thru was congested, he ran inside to purchase a strawberry smoothie with whip cream. It had been humid throughout the day and into the evening.

Upon getting the drink without delay, he went on location in the grocery lot. Upon calling the member to get her exact location, she answered the phone in a rage, stating, 'I see you! Don't #$!@;?$ move – I'm coming to you!' As he looked around for her using his mirrors, he noticed an older woman approaching from the rear right corner of his van. She appeared to be in her sixties. The surprising thing that made his mind sink suddenly was that he noticed she was wearing a Starbucks's apron. The first thing going through his mind was she had been serving folks drinks all day, leaves work, car won't start, tow truck is nowhere to be found, and the last thing she wants to see is a smoothie. Robert thought that, if he offered her the intended drink, that she may have thrown it at him.

As he unlocked the passenger door, she entered his assigned work van. As she did so, she had been on the phone in a very heated, vulgar conversation about her situation. As she ended her conversation, which was about her dissatisfied experience, Robert introduced himself to her and said, 'This is for you,' as he handed her the drink. She responded with a thank you.

He then asked if the tow truck had arrived. She said no, and was not worried about him finding it or waiting any longer. She said she had left the keys under the mat.

As they began to slowly pull off, he began to stall for a moment to explain his role with light-service work, and asked if anybody had come out to look at the car prior to the tow request. She said no. He further stated he would like to take a look at the car, if she did not mind. She did not, and pointed the way to the car.

While at the car, he tested the battery to find arrival voltage at 12.4. He then located the starter. He asked the member to try and start the car while he used a breaker bar to tap it. The vehicle started immediately.

The member advised that she had been having a problem with the starter and was taking it to a neighbor to have it replaced. Robert showed her where the starter was and let her hold the breaker bar to feel its weight as he further demonstrated the technique. He asked if she was good to go. She replied yes, retrieved her purse, and drove off with a strawberry banana smoothie topped with whipped cream, compliments of BA5."

― Robert Hay, Affordable Roadside Service

"I was on the side of 795 doing a simple tire change. When the job was finished, as the member was about to leave, she went into a seizure and stopped breathing. I had to pull her out of the car and perform CPR. A passerby must have called 911 because as soon as she started breathing on her own, the ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital. I asked the officer for the lady's address so I could tow her car to her house for her to avoid a storage bill. I dropped her car off, and about a week goes by and I get a call from the customer to thank me for everything I did, because if it wasn't for my quick response to what had happened, she wouldn't have made it. There's a great feeling you get when you really truly help someone and get recognition for it."

― Charlie Berry, Expedited Towing

"It was the first semester that our daughter was at college across the state when my husband and I happened to get the opportunity to tow a truck to the very town she had moved to – Las Cruces! It was a given – we took the job. Upon our arrival, we were called by our dispatcher to tell us we were offered another opportunity we couldn’t turn down. We were going to tow a yacht from a nearby port to the Arizona border. That’s what we do, so of course we would take this job! We’re a small, family owned business, meaning every family trip is a business trip as well, and vice versa.

Shortly after we delivered the yacht, we were driving down the highway and we could see black smoke in the distance. As we traveled closer, we saw a car upside down and several people standing around talking on their phones. While they were calling for help, no one was getting the gentleman out of the car, and it was smoking.

This is when I truly got to see my husband in action. He rushed to the vehicle, got on his knees, turned off the car and spoke to the man hanging upside down with his seat belt holding him. My husband noticed that the man was bleeding badly from his head. My husband told me to run to the truck and get towels or rags, anything that could help stop the bleeding. He then started delegating, instructing people on what to do to help.

He had another man go to the other side of the car to assist in catching the victim as he slowly cut the seat belt so he could fall gently. Once he got him out he kept pressure on his wounds until the ambulance arrived. As the paramedics approached they both addressed him as, “Father Flores.” He was easily recognized by these people as their priest. Shortly after help arrived and we knew he was in good hands, we left. We were both very shaken from the accident and neither one of us could remember the man’s name. As we were speaking to each other trying to remember, the craziest thing happened: We actually saw a bouquet of flowers on the double yellow line in the middle of the highway. We both exclaimed, “Father Flores!!!” Flores, meaning flowers in Spanish. We immediately felt a spiritual embrace and interpreted this sign as a confirmation of our willingness to help someone in need. I still get emotional every time I think about it.

Every day, as an industry we go out in the world to help people, never knowing what we will encounter that day. Because of his caring nature, composure in an intense situation, and his experience, my husband saved a life that day. Tow truck operators are truly everyday heroes."

― Amos Cohn, A.C. Towing and Transport Services

"I drive in a small town in Kansas with a rather large university. Every year without fail, graduation day is our busiest day. Our trucks and drivers are out getting students and families back on the road and off to their next chapter in life.
After working all day, I received a call around 11 pm. I was not looking forward to a call, but that's not really a choice in this line of work.

When I arrived on scene, I found a middle-aged couple and two dogs sitting in an extremely busy part of the highway, with no lights or any way of alerting traffic.

I spoke with the driver and asked that he and his wife get into my truck for their safety. His wife was visibly upset that the dogs would be left in the car, so I made the decision to let them ride in the cab as well. Both dogs were loaded without any problems, only a few licks. The car was loaded without incident, and we were safely on our way.

Seeing as it was a Saturday night, there were no shops open. I recommended a nice shop not far from our location, and we dropped off the vehicle. I offered to take them to a nearby hotel that was dog friendly so they could have a place for the night. I dropped them off and unloaded their luggage, and was on my way.

Several weeks later I received a 'Thank You' in the mail from the family on the highway. In the card, they told me that I had gone above and beyond what they expected from any towing company. I'm fairly new to the towing business – I've only been on my own for about two years now. That thank you card sits above my desk to remind me everyday that I sell customer service and safety first, and everything else falls into place after that."

― Kyle Herron, Davidsons Towing, LLC

"We were able to assist a member in moving his great-grandfather's Model A Ford safely to a museum. It had to be carefully extricated from a fragile barn near collapse. The customer was very happy as we all waited on baited breath for the vehicle to be brought out those front doors!"

― Steven Klapka, Reliable Truck and Auto, LLC

"Years back when I was working a different area than now, I copied a jump-start call. When I arrived to perform my service for the member, while we were discussing the problem with his vehicle, I noticed that as he was speaking to me his movements and speech were changing and slowing down. I had my head under the hood inspecting the battery and he walked towards the rear of the vehicle. When I called out to him to ask him a question, I got no response so I looked around the vehicle for him and saw him laying on the ground. I immediately ran to him and saw that he was passed out cold, I then called 911 and got ready to perform CPR, but I noticed that he was breathing, so I rolled him on his side to make sure he would not choke due to a seizure, and just hoped and prayed for him to be okay. Once the fire department arrived and did their job, they told me that he had had a stroke and that I had did the right thing for this gentleman. As they were transporting him, I received my next call and was off and running to service my next member. All in days work of a 'Service Provider' for AAA. This is why I love my job!!!"

― John Vandergriff, All Star Towing, Inc.



"Having been a AAA tow truck driver for 18 years, an April day started out like every other until I saw a woman standing on side of road next to a car. I pulled up and asked if she needed assistance. I expected the typical response – car died, out of gas, or whatever. She was in a frantic state, pointed to the car and yelled, 'Yes – my daughter is having a baby!' I opened the back car door to find a young woman hunched over and laying between the front and back seats. I asked her mother if she had called 911, and she said yes. With the woman screaming, 'The baby is coming!', I grabbed towels and threw them on the sidewalk and proceeded to pull the expectant mother out of the car, and gently laid her down on the sidewalk. Much to my surprise, I saw the baby, already halfway out. I looked at her mother and said, 'It looks like it's up to us to deliver this baby.' Just then, a fire truck pulled up and took over. From then on my nickname became DOCTOR G!!"

― Michael Galea, Fortes Bros

"Looking like a savior to people stranded is the most rewarding part!"

― Robert Bopp, 1st Performance Automotive

"We will let the member tell the story…"

― Charles Heidenberg, Alleycat Towing and Recovery

"My most rewarding roadside assistance experience happened on August 22, 2017. A AAA member had been stranded for nearly 4 hours, and had been dispatched to four different companies, when my company (ABC Towing) received the call. The members were so appreciative and friendly. Although it is not uncommon to meet such appreciative people on the road, it makes the job rewarding to feel such an expression of gratitude. However, today I received a hand written letter from the member and his sister,expressing their appreciation and gratitude. This is a reminder that my job is much more than merely loading and unloading vehicles. The job that I perform and the attitude that I carry can change a persons day, and help to brighten an already tough situation."

― Keith Skinner, ABC Towing

"I helped a very old lady. She was stuck in the highway at a very dangerous location. Her car lights were gone, and she didn't have a phone. She was very scared. I parked my truck behind her with my emergency lights on, and gave her water. And then let her use my phone to talk to her family. I used my booster to get her car parked at the safe spot, and then waited with her until her family member came to get her."

― Parminder Singh Nijjar, Akal Towing and Service

"No key, stuck in park in a tight alley, and three driver had refused the call. I used my WL with dollies and towed the vehicle."

― Qaisar Shahzad, Ringo Services, Inc.

"I had a client who was in need of assistance. A young man and his BMW. His radiator hose blew on the side of the highway. He was fresh from Florida driving in Maryland and knew nobody. I was called to this mans assistance and checked out his car. It definitely needed a tow to a local shop I dealt with on a number of occasions. Picked him and his car up and took him to the shop and helped him replace his hose and radiator. This young man was ever so grateful as he had no money and was out of work for the moment. Several weeks later, he contacted me and payed me for my services. He was so grateful and couldn't thank me enough. We kept contact and now he's doing well and attributes his current successes to my help to which I feel extremely honored."

― Riaz Mohammed, QRS Towing

"Assisted a family that had an accident and was able to get them to safety."

― Anthony Giorgianni, Jamaica Autobody and Towing, Inc.

"On December 11, 2016, Oregon had one of the worst snow storms in recent history. We are located in the foothills of Mount Hood. There were people stranded in their cars everywhere. There were cars people just got out of and left in the middle of the road. In our area of Clackamas County, there were three 10-car pile-ups. It was 3:30 a.m. before our dedicated crew of 15 was able to call it a day. While other tow companies decided it was too dangerous to drive that night, we stayed and worked until the last customer was safe and at their destination."

― Jenny Bilyeu, All-Ways Towing

"Though it is true, we all have memories about being the knight in shining armor, my most memorable moments are the ones where I pushed myself and my equipment to the limits to really find out what I can accomplish. I remember countless times of pulling out F550 plow trucks from sliding off a driveway while plowing. My service truck was an F150 at the time. These were not quick calls. It was the planning and execution that gave me the satisfaction of completing the call. Oh, and the look of appreciation and relief on the member's face when everything comes together is unforgettable. This picture is of a flat tire that I was very proud of. I had to use both floor jacks, 2 ton and 3 ton, together to get the wheel off the ground. The member was thrilled that we didn't need to have it towed."

― Andrew Ladzinski, Andy's Roadside Service

"My name is Scott and I drive a BSP vehicle. I went out on a day in July around 102 degrees to help Miss Ruby, 89 years old, with battery problems. Anyway, I tested her battery and it failed. It was a five-year-old battery. I had to clean the terminals – they were corroded very badly, and I replaced her battery for her, performed an A Plus 1, cleaned all of the leaves from under the hood and did a quick visual inspection of the belts, fluid levels and tires. I was closing my call the same way I’ve always done it – explaining everything I’ve done and the reasons I’ve performed every task so the member understands clearly. Above all else, I want them to feel safe because they depend on us to notice if there is any other problem. She was totally satisfied and very grateful with the way I handled the task at hand. As I was getting ready to leave, she started talking about her children and grandchildren who have now moved away to Houston, TX and another city in Texas. I sat there for around 30 minutes just listening, and learned that none have been to see her in a year or better because life is busy… But that did not keep her from pulling out all of the latest pictures and even some of when her kids were little, telling me how blessed she was to have such a wonderful family and how very proud she was of each and every one of them and how much she missed them. My tablet went off – another member needed assistance. So I was leaving and she stopped me and explained how grateful she was that someone took the time to visit with her and not rush away, and how I must have been an angel sent to visit with her. This is a testament to the fact that members love AAA roadside assistance. And sometimes it’s the little things that truly matter, like nothing more than sitting on a stair on the front porch lending an ear. That was the day I started running one call at a time. This is the reason we do what we do. I guess the most rewarding part was being at the right place at the right time to make one person’s day a whole lot brighter."

― Scott Widmer, Premier Towing of North Texas

"I was coming home from church one Sunday, when my Sunday tow man called and said he had trouble with a car in the ditch, so I went to help him. As he was loading the car, a truck came running toward us and the officer at full speed. The truck slammed on the brakes, the driver and dragged out this lady. She was gray and lifeless. She had no pulse and was not breathing. I am also an RN, and started CPR. After three reps, the lady coughed and started breathing again. The officer was on the radio and on the phone with the ambulance at this time. The ambulance then pulled up. The man was taking her to meet the ambulance. This was my most meaningful tow I was ever a part of."

― Brian Black, Blacks Automotive and Towing LLC

"A couple weeks back on a Sunday afternoon, after completing a tire change for AAA, heading down I-59 south, I passed a pick-up truck pulling a small utility trailer with the hood up. I pulled over in front of the truck, then noticed an older couple and a small girl sitting in the edge of the woods. They all stood and said thank God!! They'd been there three hours in the heat without anyone stopping to help. They called 911 and were told all wreckers in the area were busy. NOT. I was in my personal truck doing service calls. After looking at the truck and figuring out that the water pump had locked up, causing the truck to run hot, I went to my shop and grabbed an F650 extended cab rollback capable of hauling the truck and towing the trailer.The couple kept on thanking me and started telling their story of taking their autistic granddaughter on a special trip. She was so excited, telling of their adventures along the way, and the breakdown was no problem – just a bump in the road. What a great attitude to have. The trip was 128 miles to South Houma Louisiana.The family showed me their home and offered for me to join them at dinner. We chatted for two hours about guns, fishing and a lot of other guy talk. I now have a new friend and will be joining on some fishing trips and duck hunts. Made my day! I love my job and the perks along with it."

― Dennis Bennett, Solo's Towing, Inc.

"I had a battery service in DC. I tried to start the car but it wasn't doing anything. I tried different solutions to help the member. I even tried to replace his remote control battery with my personal key fob, but it did not work. After almost an hour, I decided to try something else and then we got it. The car started and member was so happy. At the end of the day I received a text from his wife."

― Saman Sharifi, U.S. Towing, Inc.

"All service calls are important to me – no one call is more important than the other. With that said, some do stand out like this one. I was called one night and they ask how far away am I and I said 15 minutes. They said please hurry. I got there in 12 minutes and two ladies were walking around the parking lot. Her husband was standing, and told me his wife was in labor and needed to get to the hospital. I opened the car quality and they jumped into the car and were gone. Two week later, I was going down the road and looked behind me. A State Trooper was behind me with his lights on, so I pulled over he asked me to get out and I did. I asked what I did, and he asked if I remembered him and I said no, so he reminded me. He told me that 15 minutes after getting to the hospital, his son was born. He thanked again and told me that I was his hero, and he would never for get what I done. Most of the time we are just helping people get where they're going, so this very satisfying to me. Thank you for the chance to tell my story."

― James Hollander, A&A Locksmith

"While camping at Tangle Lakes campground in Alaska, we had some folks from Spain lock themselves out of their camper. They wanted to try our keys and see if they would open theirs. Luckily, they asked a locksmith and I had my picks, so I was able to open their door. They were very grateful – especially when we said no charge that is just what Alaskan's do when someone is in need."

― Rochelle Larson, Larson's Locksmith and Security, Inc.

"When I pulled a lady that was trapped out of a ditch so the fire dept could cut the car open and get her out."

― Cody Close, DJ's Towing

"The most rewarding AAA call to me was about 8 years ago on a cold winter night at 10:30 p.m. I responded to a stranded AAA member on N. Main St., just south of Englewood, Ohio. I was complaining to myself about having to leave my warm house to do a call, but then I told myself, I’m a contractor for AAA and it is my job to help people. As I arrived on the scene I noticed an '80’s something Oldsmobile along the side of the road that probably shouldn’t have even been on the road. The gentleman did not look much better, as he had ragged clothes that were torn. He was not dressed very warm at all for the weather conditions, since the temperature was in the 20’s. I will never forget what the gentleman said to me: 'Just tow me please, here are my keys. I have AAA so I won’t have to pay.' I put him in the cab of my truck where he would be warm, then I hooked up his car. When I got back in the truck I asked him, 'Where would you like me tow your car?' He said 'Just head south on RT 48 and I will tell you how to get there.' He said he couldn’t remember the name of the place. Now I’m thinking to myself, I don’t like calls like this. However, I never felt threatened as he was very kind and cordial, even seemed religious. He said this old car is all I own, the motor is blown but I still have a lot to be thankful for. As we were headed towards downtown Dayton, Ohio, we talked along the way. He asked me if he could use my phone, but whoever he called did not answer. We eventually arrived at the gentleman’s destination. As I pulled into the parking lot, it occurred to me why he said. 'These people let me stay here.' It was a homeless shelter. He then said to me, 'I would like to give you a tip but I don’t have any money. It was so nice of you to come out on such a cold night like tonight and help me.' I said, 'Sir you are welcome. This is what AAA is for. It is my job.' I gave him a few bucks, and he acted as if it was thousand dollars. I got real humble real quick. Here I was complaining to myself about having to leave my warm house to do my job. This gentleman didn’t even have a home or a job and now not much of a car, yet he had a better attitude about life than I did. I was so moved by this I came home and told my wife. I even wrote a song about it. I went on to have the song demoed and put on a CD. I have given several copies to the road service manager and the dispatchers at the time of the call. I am an amateur songwriter and have written several songs about my job. This song is titled, “Driving a Tow Truck.” It is very complimentary to AAA, as it is mentioned several times throughout the song. I like to listen to it every once in a while, as it takes be back to the night and I remember just how fortunate I am. Thank you for allowing me to participate."

― Ron Marlow, Alpha and Omega Towing

"Making a key for a mother and daughter stranded in Ocean City with no way to get home. They were covered by their Premier membership. When I told them, they started to cry. It was the best feeling in the world."

― Steve Zuccari, A to Z Lock and Key

"On the way to a call, I saw an elderly man trying to change his tire. He was struggling and was very upset because he was late to go visit with his wife, who was in a nursing home. She would be worried if he was late. I just told him that I wanted to help and he was so happy. He thanked me and offered $$. I refused. I just told him, 'Go visit with your wife.' It was a great feeling to help and feel good!!"

― Joe Braccia, Hi Tech Towing and Recovery, Inc.

"In the winter of 2013 a few weeks before Christmas, we received a call from the Sheboygan County Sheriffs Dept. regarding a stalled vehicle on I-43 near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. They informed us, before we even went to the vehicle, that the people did not have any money with them. We informed the Sheriffs Dept. that we would respond anyway and get them off of the interstate in order to free up their deputy for other calls. When we arrived, we found an elderly couple sitting in the back of the squad car so they could stay out of the cold Wisconsin weather. They had been traveling from Milwaukee to Upper Michigan. They had been at a cancer treatment facility and were headed back home when their vehicle had become disabled.

We brought them back to our facility and diagnosed the problem with their vehicle as be a blown motor. Knowing they did not have any money, we inquired if there was anyone that could come and get them. They told us they did not know of anyone that could pick them up.

Realizing their situation, we decided to take them home (over 100 miles) for no charge. During the trip, we had conversations about the unfortunate circumstances in their lives. Upon arrival at their residence, we discovered they were living in a mobile home with hay bales piled around the house to help keep the house warmer. We realized how blessed we are and how much they had been going through. We gave them $100 to help them buy some Christmas presents for their grandchild.

The next day the Sheriffs Dept. dispatcher called us to find out what happened with the couple and was concerned about them also. When we informed her about the situation, she thanked us for going out of our way for someone in need.

The following spring, we received a call from the Sheriffs Dept. asking us to attend their annual banquet. During the awards portion of the night the dispatcher who handled the call that day gave a description of what had happened and what we had done for the couple. We were then given the Citizen’s Service award by the Sheriff for how we helped someone in need that day.

We proudly display the award to this day and continue to help the less fortunate when we can."

― Carl Reothel, Carlton Automotive

"We did a jumpstart in Monterey, CA back in 2013 for a lady that had a 2011 Honda Accord. After we tested the battery and started the vehicle for her, she tripped on the curb and twisted her ankle. We have very skilled and professional drivers that come from all professions. The driver that day had been in the medical field and knew what to do for the member. He splinted her ankle and called her doctor for her. A friend of the members came and drove the member to the doctors office. The member was so happy with the service she called AAA to let them know as well as our company here so that we could all know what a great job our driver had done in helping this member not only with a car problem but also with a health problem."

― Sean T. Hillesheim, Monterey Garage and Towing

"My most rewarding experience comes from Monday, August 21st, 2017. This, as you well know, was the day of the solar eclipse. A pair of grandparents and their four grandchildren came from Greensboro, NC to watch the eclipse in it's entirety in Anderson, SC. They got all the way to Anderson, and watched the totality of the eclipse, and on their way home broke down in Gaffney, SC. I luckily was unloaded and free when they called, just before the bulk of our calls that evening came in. They were at a gas station and only waited about 20 minutes after they called AAA to be picked up. They were all so thrilled to see such a large, clean truck had come to pick them up, and very quickly also. They thanked me profusely for arriving in good time. I loaded the vehicle, and advised them that we usually have to charge for extra passengers, but under the circumstances, I would be able to carry them all. The grandparents were very please that they wouldn't have to wait 4+ hours for another ride to get there, and that their grandchildren wouldn't have to wait as well. We all had a very good, very long ride to Greensboro, as traffic was stop and go almost all the way. We talked about what all the kids liked to do, their favorite experiences at school, and the fact that all of them were starting a new school year soon, and were ALL going to write about this experience their first day of school. Of all the things they did this past summer, the ride to Greensboro was the coolest thing to them. That was rewarding to me in itself, and the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Freeman were so grateful for my professionalism and promptness. They tipped me well, and made it a point to leave a positive review on our company Facebook page and also called my company's owners and let them know that I did a good job. All of this combined made for my most rewarding roadside experience."

― Drew Gragg, Fowler and Son Towing and Recovery

"Being in the towing industry allows us to come in contact with many different situations, from fatal accidents to the simply out-of-gas calls… But the one call that stands out was a lock-out call on a brand new BMW car. When I arrived on scene, the owner was frantic and very sensitive about his new car. He asked what was I going to do, and I pulled out a rather large hammer and said we should be able to get in through the driver window with one blow!!!! I have never have seen anyone with such a pale look. Then I told him I was only kidding and proceeded to unlock his car in less than a minute, with no damage. I like to have fun with my job - way too many people today need a little humor."

― Terry Brewer, Brewers Service

"My most rewarding experience was helping a single mom near Crystal Mountain during very cold weather, no phone reception and no roadside assistance membership with anyone. I was coming back from the resort at night when I saw the flashers of an old vehicle on the side of the road. A mom with her toddler was broken down on the side of the road and they were heading back to Enumclaw, which was the way I was going. I knew she had no money but it was cold, on my way and they were hungry. I loaded the car, stopped at Greenwater for hot beverages for her and the toddler and later dropped them off at their apartment in Enumclaw. She cried after I unloaded the car because for more than an hour, nobody would stop and help. I believe in doing one good deed for someone every day, and that was my good deed for the day."

― George Comollo, Star Towing and Transport, LLC

"Revelation Towing isn't about "what's in it for us" but what we can do for others revealing that people do still genuinely care for one another. To reach out to others in crisis and change lives is a truly gratifying experience. It's moreso humbling when those very people reach back and express their thankfulness for goodness found in the midst of life impacting events! The Schweigert's vacation and regroup time after the death of a parent ended in more devastation. Their vehicle/trailer was struck by another motorist resulting in extensive damage to truck and trailer. The truck required replacement. That expense wasn't included in their retirement plan. The trailer was repairable but their plans were interrupted for a week awaiting parts/repairs.

We brought them "home" with us and enjoyed the opportunity of meeting new "family" and doing whatever was needed to make a bad time better! Maybe we'll see them again sometime as they did invite us to visit in Wyoming! It would be quite the blessing to drive to Wyoming in a new F150 to park alongside the F250 they purchased while in Roswell NM. They were appreciative beyond measure. Attached is the thank you card, and they additionally posted an amazing thank you on our Facebook page! Our thanks goes to them additionally."

― Margie Linville, Revelation Diesel Repair and Towing LLC

"Here we go! It was the month of July and I was coming back from dropping off a vehicle in Warren, MI. I was on Highway 696, heading westbound. if you lived in MI and drove on this freeway, it was like a race track. I saw a step ladder on the freeway in the last lane. I drove at least 1/2 mile until I stopped. So then I merged to left and started walking back to remove the ladder from the freeway before it caused danger. As I got close to the ladder, the owner of the ladder appeared. I told him to hang tight while I go get the ladder, and to stay in his truck. Just before I got about 20 feet from the ladder, a gold Honda Civic runs over the ladder and looses control, causing me to jump on the shoulder, and hitting the truck that was once carrying the ladder. Thank God that the gentleman stayed in his truck, for he would of been crushed. The damage to his car and the Honda Civic was not that severe, and we where able to get the ladder off the freeway. Well, at least what was left of it. Both men where safe and that's all that matters. This is our job and I love doing it every day. Making a difference is what helps me sleep at night. Thank AAA for the opportunity, and God bless. Thank you."

Mohamed Majhed, BMI Road Service

“We helped a mother of two In Texas. It was 105 degrees and she had no AC in the truck. We put her in our 2007 Ford 150 four-door truck to cool off with some cold water. We changed her tire and helped her back to her truck. Her words to me: You are an angel sent to me to help me in my time of need. As an owner/tech, those words have stayed with me. We are highway heroes… always and forever.”

― Juan Pena, What Happen 24Hr Roadside Service

"My most rewarding road service experience occurred on a cold December night. The call came in about 11 PM. A young couple, heading back to Charlotte from a Christmas visit, had broken down on the interstate near Greer, South Carolina. The call was not far from my home, so I grabbed a jacket and headed to their location. The tensioner bracket had broken and the main belt was shredded. It was late on a Sunday night and all the auto parts stores were closed. I called a friend who was manager of an O'Reilly store in Greenville, and he opened the store and even agreed to deliver the parts I needed. We loaded the vehicle and drove back back to my driveway and made the repairs, while the couple sat in my kitchen having a hot cup of coffee. They paid for the parts, but, not the labor. The thank you and handshake was more satisfaction than any money could have ever been. If I had accepted money for this repair, I would have long forgotten that late night repair that sent them safely on their way."

― Sterling Hosea, JR Towing and Recovery

"Helping people with children that are stuck in the winter time."

― Raph Smith, Dave's Towing

"My most rewarding roadside assistance experience I must say happened about three years ago. A young lady was left stranded by her car and needed assistance right away. This was her only way of transportation. Once I picked her up and began transporting her to her destination she began conversing with me about her life and all her daily struggles. With a smile on her face she always remained positive. She had made such an impact on me at that moment, reminding me of my past struggles and how I knew this was an opportunity for me to help someone in need. She had stated to me that she had a daughter at home and was also very much pregnant. Her daily struggles led her to not have enough money for milk but also not enough money to pay for the towing service and at that moment my heart sunk. Before arriving to her drop-off location, I passed by a Walgreen's and purchased two gallons of milk for her daughter, and then gave her the service free of charge. I had never felt better, nor will I ever forget how much she reminded me that everyone goes through daily struggles and everyone deserves help. I have always been a giving person and that will never change. My daily struggles are tough at times to get through but one thing is for sure, I enjoy making someone's day and even if I have $5 in my pocket I will manage to share it with someone."

― Carlos J. Sanchez, Carmart Towing and Transport, Inc.

"The most rewarding experiences I have had are both on unlocks. One was with a child locked inside and the other was with a dog inside. Just seeing the panic on their faces when I showed up, but then seeing their relief and embrace with their child and dog when I unlocked the vehicle. It was very heartwarming."

― Sam Mitchell, Jim Smith Colilsion and Wrecker Service

"Had a customer stranded and we were able to get her back home by end of day."

― Robert Bopp, 1st Performance Automotive

"Working late to complete auto repairs for a AAA out-of-country customer."

― David A. Keyes, Auto-Lab of Lansing

"I once got dispatched to an accident call and on the way back to the shop noticed a limo on the side of the road. I asked if they needed help, and it turns out it was a just-married couple on their way to their reception with a flat tire. I of course changed the tire for them ‒ at no charge ‒ so they wouldn't be late."

― Jay Coppins, Coppins Service Center, Inc.

"We had a tow come in with a van that had two women from Canada - CAA members. They had overheated and lost coolant - things were not looking good. We were preparing them for the worst. We had thoroughly gone through our inspection, block-tested to ensure vehicle would not need a head job. They were very anxious the whole time, as they were far from home. Sure enough we repaired the water pump and thermostat and sent them on their way with no issues. They were very pleased and continued to show gratitude towards our honesty. We made their 2,500 mile trip safe and sound!!!"

― Randy Smith, Auto-Lab USA

"My most rewarding roadside assistance experience would have been in August 2012. I unlocked a car for an elderly woman, started her car and got the AC going. She gave me $100 tip. But any time I'm am able to help a stranded member and make them happy with the service I have provided Is a rewarding experience."

― John Bean, Freedom Towing

"Unlocking a car with a child inside."

― Terry Hockersmith, T and T Towing, LLC

"Our most rewarding experience is on every call that we get for AAA, being able to help our customers on getting right back on the road."

― David Urena, Daves Towing and Recovery

"Though I have many rewarding AAA assistance stories, it still comes down to one that made us all feel good. It happened on Thanksgiving. It was slick and cold out. I got a AAA call for a truck that had over turned on I90. I went and did the call. It was a man and his son. He had just picked the boy up from the airport and was heading to Idaho to have dinner with his parents. The truck was not driveable, and I had to bring it to my impound. He called and his family said they would come and get him, but because of road conditions it could be up to four hours. I called my partner and she said to bring him to the house so he had a place that was safe and warm to wait. When I got them there, she asked if they were hungry, which they were. She set up a table for them and served them a complete Thanksgiving dinner. We all felt joy as we listened to them laugh and talk while eating their dinner and catching up. We never heard from them again, but it was definitely a good memory for us, and I hope them, too."

― Terry Weaver, AA Auto Northwest

"We had a guy broke down on I40 eastbound at the Tennessee and North Carolina border. He called our shop and said that he was parked behind a concrete retaining wall, and he had been there several hours and no one had stopped to help. He advised me that he was moving home to the Raleigh, NC area. He had a flat tire with no spare, but he thought that it was repairable. However, when he jacked the car up to change tire, the jack fell and somehow busted his gas tank and all of his gas ran out on ground. He only had around $20 of money on him, but wondered if we could help. Being as he was honest with us from start, we sent a rollback up there to help because the stretch of interstate where he was located has seen several deaths, including one of my employees who was run over in emergency lane while helping others. When when my driver arrived on scene, he felt this guy needed help. He told us stories of his life: he did not own anything but that car and $20. He was trying to get home to start his life over. Well, my driver is a preacher, and he talked to him about life. We towed his car to the shop and fixed tire, filled his car up with gas after we patched tank. We thought that the gas would not last, so we gave him $100 cash so we knew that he would make it home – around 300 miles away. He thanked us several times and exchanged phone numbers. He called us to tell us that he made it home. Around a year or so later, he called us back, thanking us again and said we changed his life. He had considered suicide, drugs, etc., but he got a job at a local church and he was finishing school to become a preacher because he thought that there were not many nice people left in world and it changed his life. In our job as a tower, that makes up for all the time you were taken by dishonest people. Who says that tow truck drivers can't change a life."

Sonny Leatherwood, Hartford Exxon Towing and Transport

"A child was locked in a car, 911 was called and other providers. I was the first one there. A large group of people had gathered around, and I got it open quickly."

― Bart Smith, Bes Towing