MENTOR, Ohio — Hankook Tire America Corp. brought its support of the DAV's (Disabled American Veterans) Mobile Service Office (MSO) stops to Mentor and one of its independent tire dealerships, Major League Tire, Aug. 23.
This was the third of six MSO stops Nashville, Tenn.-based Hankook is supporting this year across the country at its independent tire dealerships, said Wes Boling, public relations manager for the tire maker.
Hankook's partnership with the DAV totals $150,000 in 2017, including $100,000 in direct donations, Mr. Boling said.
The DAV annually conducts 850 MSO stops, during which it provides disabled and non-disabled veterans help with their Veterans Administration claims.
"The general public has the perception that veterans are automatically awarded the benefits that they earned for their service, but in fact they are required to apply for these benefits through the VA," said Susan Chamberlin, DAV corporate partnerships senior account manager, who participated in the stop in Mentor. "So veterans organizations like the DAV help vets navigate the process."
Each MSO stop has two office spaces in a trailer, which is usually manned by two service officers who help veterans submit their claims.
Hankook is the only corporate sponsor of the group's MSO stops, Ms. Chamberlin said. "Hankook helps cover the costs and expands our reach to veterans."
Major League Tire's Rex Pennington said the dealership was honored to be chosen for the MSO stop. "We agreed to do it quickly," he said, adding, "It's a good cause."
In addition to the DAV mobile office, Major League Tire set up a tent and picnic tables, and provided food for visitors.
The one-year-old dealership operates retail tire and auto service locations in Mentor and Massillon, Ohio, and a retail/commercial tire location in Hartville, Ohio.
Mr. Boling said Hankook collaborates with its sales and territory managers around the nation to select tire dealerships to host the MSO stops.
Besides serving veterans and participating in the cause, Mr. Boling said the MSO stops provide tire dealerships with an opportunity to market themselves in the local community and strengthens Hankook's relationship with dealers beyond a strictly sales capacity.
In 2016, the DAV "provided representation for nearly 300,000 pending claims for veterans and their families before the VA, obtaining nearly $4.1 billion in new and retroactive benefits on their behalf," Ms. Chamberlin said.