April 23, 2014 | 11:26 AM
Rick Wimp said he didn't consider it a big deal.
Wimp, the owner of Rick's Service Center near Corydon, received a phone call at about 10 a.m. on March 22 from roadside assistance asking if he could work on the car of a traveler who was making his way from California to North Carolina.
No big deal, Wimp said.
Wimp and the traveler, Jason H. Welch, began talking and Wimp learned that Welch is a corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Wimp's father, the late Richard Wimp, who passed away on March 18, 2013, was also a Marine.
The two shared a few stories before Rick Wimp discovered that Welch's vehicle was not repairable without a new engine. Since no car rental shops were open in Corydon, it left Welch, who had ended training as a tank mechanic and two dogs in tow, in a bind.
"He said he needed to get to North Carolina and the car he bought, which was the second that broke down on his trip, made it 2,000 miles in a 3,000-mile journey before it blew up, so I did what I thought my dad would do," Wimp said.
That's when Wimp gave Welch the keys and title of a mid-'90s model, green Nissan Sentra to Welch.
Have a nice day. No questions asked.
"I knew he wasn't lying about who he was because everything he had in (the car) was military stuff and he had a plaque about being a tank mechanic," Wimp said. "He didn't have too many options. He was stuck here and something had to happen. I handed him the title and the keys and told him to get insurance on it and told him it would make it there. I gave him the keys and told him to keep those tanks going so we can shoot (terrorists') ass."
Wimp said he'd purchased the car off a customer and only had a few hundred dollars in it.
"He was someone who needed to get somewhere, and I knew the car would make it, so I gave it to him," Wimp said. "He found a good place to break down because everything worked out for him."
Welch's Chevrolet Blazer is still at Wimp's shop.
"He told me he'd come back to get it in six to eight months, so I put it over in storage. It was a good day for both of us," Wimp said. "It's just something my dad would have wanted and would have done."