Couple fights to keep military non-profit SUV parked outside

They took their fight to keep a van that honors a group that supports soldiers to social media after their HOA asked them to move it.

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - A Middleburg couple fought back after they received a letter telling them to move their SUV inside their garage or out of their neighborhood.

The Cadillac named “Gunny Jr” is wrapped in decals of the military branches and St. Michael’s Soldiers, a non-profit that sends care packages to deployed troops and provides financial support once they return home.

Jim Signorile, who lives in The Preserve at Two Creeks, told First Coast News he found the letter in his mailbox Saturday.

“Telling me the new 'Gunny Jr.' was a nuisance and I need to swiftly move it in the garage,” said Signorile, the vice president of St. Michael’s Soldiers.

Signorile said they had room to park the car in the garage, but chose to keep it outside to spread the word about the organization, which he said is 100 percent volunteer-based.

“We need to build awareness so we can get volunteers, so we can get donations, so we can help the cause that we fight for every day,” Signorile said.

Faced with the decision to remove the SUV or park it inside, Signorile took to Facebook. Outrage spread quickly with the post racking up hundreds of shares.

“People called from Canada just telling us not to give up the fight, keep it out, don’t put up with it, that kind of thing,” Signorile said.

“There was one young lady that actually stopped at a traffic light to roll down her window and tell us ‘we love the truck, we love the work you do, keep it up, my father’s in the military,’” said Kathy Signorile, the founder of St. Michael’s Soldiers.

Jim Signorile said he was contacted by his homeowners association shortly after the Facebook post.

"They said they weren’t aware the letter went out,” he said. “They said it was a mistake and they were gonna get it retracted this morning.”

Kathy Signorile said she was overwhelmed by the support of her neighbors.

“Every now and then you get knocked down and you just have to remember to get back up,” she said. “But this time we didn’t get back up by our own. This time we got back up with hundreds and thousands of people standing beside us.”

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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