The community salutes our friend and neighbor Kevin Melamed of Mandarin for always looking for ways to brighten the lives of veterans around town. Kevin is the proud owner of a WW II Willy’s Army Jeep that his Dad bought at the end of the war. As Kevin grew up in rural upstate New York he and his Dad shared carefree Jeep rides together in the rolling countryside.
Kevin, his wife Bonnie, their kids and the Jeep moved to Mandarin several years ago. Since then, Kevin has been cheerfully inviting area vets, their families and friends to take a spin down their own ‘Memory Lanes’ as they tool around our neighborhoods enjoying Mandarin and our ‘sun-shiny’ Florida days. Kevin quietly reaches out to our vets, offering his famous ‘Jeep-Fun-Rides. And on Veterans Day, July 4th and other holidays, he reaches out to area vets at River Garden Hebrew Home and other retirement homes, inviting them to hop aboard.
Kevin quotes an old saying, “Freedom is not free.” He continues, “My visit with our local veterans – from the greatest generation onwards is my way of saying ‘Thank You.’ They can share their memories while experiencing a WW2 Willy’s Army Jeep that has been passed down to me. I never get tired of listening and am always willing to learn something new.”
You’ll spot Kevin when he passes through the neighborhood. You can’t miss his trademark smile and boundless energy … Announced by the distinctive ‘Honk-Honk’ of his Dad’s WW II Jeep!