Toyota & VMI Announce Operation Independence Vehicle Winner

Toyota and Vantage Mobility International (VMI) have awarded a new Toyota Sienna to Charlie Harvey, a U.S. Army veteran and the winner of the companies' Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute contest.

Harvey, who lives in North Carolina, served in the army during the Vietnam War.

The contest was open to all U.S. veterans with disabilities, and the winner's name was drawn on Veterans' Day.

"We were just shocked that we won the Star Spangled Salute contest," Harvey said in a news announcement. "We currently use my wife's sedan as our primary transportation. The Toyota Sienna with VMI's ramp is going to give me a lot more freedom to get around using my wheelchair."

Jeff Weston, VP of business development at VMI said when Harvey's name was announced, "Together with Toyota, we've been looking forward to announcing the winner of the Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute contest since the contest began. We stand behind our veterans and appreciate every opportunity we have to support the courageous men and women of our military."

The contest was part of Operation Independence, a national program that was created by VMI and is supported by VMI dealers and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Among the program's goals is to educate veterans about federal grant 21-4502, available to disabled American veterans who want to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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