Marine Corps veteran in need gifted car for Christmas

'This couldn't have come at a better time,' George Morales says
George Morales starts up his car after receiving it courtesy of an anonymous donor.
Posted at 5:10 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 17:26:46-05

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — It was an early Christmas gift that Marine Corps veteran George Morales will not forget.

"I'm in shock. This couldn't have come at a better time," Morales said as he was handed the keys to a car.

The gift from the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund happened Thursday morning in North Palm Beach.

Mike Durkee, executive director of the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund
Mike Durkee (right) explains why George Morales deserved to be the recipient of the vehicle.

"I couldn't think of anybody more deserving than you, George," Mike Durkee, executive director of the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, said. "Thank you for your service."

Durkee said he had noticed Morales, 50, in a borrowed car the week before at the organization's toy drive.

The car that Morales received Thursday was donated, Durkee said, by someone in Naples who wanted it to go to a veteran.

Morales has several injuries that he suffered while serving in the Marine Corps, and now has a loyal service dog named Trooper.

George Morales' service dog named Trooper
George Morales' service dog, Trooper, gets settled in the backseat of his owner's car.

"After you get no after no after no, and to get one win, it feels good," Morales said. "It changes everything, gives you hope."

The Wounded Veterans Relief Fund helps Florida veterans with housing, utilities and in many other ways, like the car for Morales.

"It's going to make a huge difference in his life," Durkee said. "It made me feel so good, and we were both crying together."