Waterville soldier receives donated SUV repaired by MATC students

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Michael Tryon and family take a look at a their new car donated and repaired by students of Manhattan Area Technical College’s automotive repair program. (Staff photo by Eric Scheidt)

Manhattan Area Technical College presented a free SUV to the family of Kansas National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Michael Tryon and his wife, Arlene, Friday inside the college’s automotive collision repair shop.

The vehicle is a 2010 Mazda Tribute.

Tryon, of Waterville, is a soldier with Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery. He recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan with the unit. He previously deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a Multinational Force and Observers mission in Egypt.

KMAN caught up with Tryon, shortly after he received the car.

“This is gonna save us a lot of money, and it’s very big for us,” Tryon said. “Now we can do other things with the money that we were gonna spend, like going on a vacation with the kids and spending more time with them, as I come off this deployment.”

MATC Automotive Collision Repair Instructor Linn Schroll was happy to assist in the process.

“It is both mine and the school’s commitment to give back to those who serve and keep us free,” he said.

The car was donated by State Farm Insurance and repaired by the students of the Automotive Collision Repair Program at the college as a part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general, said earlier this week in a press release about the donation that he appreciates the continuous support given to local Army and Air National Guard members by Kansas communities.

“We join the Kansas National Guard to serve our communities and our country,” he said. “It is heart-warming to know that when one of our own has a need, there are people and organizations out there eager to step up and lend a hand in return.”

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