Grace for Vets unites the car wash industry every year on November 11 by holding a one-day event on Veterans Day during which car wash operators offer free car washes to military veterans and active-duty personnel.

Founded in 2004 by Mike Mountz, the event has grown to include, in 2015, 1,475 companies accounting for 3,319 car wash locations in four countries. Last year, over 268,000 free washes were performed, bringing the total over the life of the program thus far to more than 1.2 million.

In May 2010, Mountz, then owner of Cloister Wash & Lube in Pennsylvania, was inducted into the Car Wash Hall of Fame at the International Carwash Association’s Car Care World Expo. In his acceptance speech he recounted the moving experience that inspired the creation of Grace for Vets: Injured State-side during the Vietnam War, Mountz was sent to the Military Hospital in Valley Forge, PA for therapy. “I realized I was at the amputee center,” he recalled, “thousands of men with no legs and no arms.” He asked himself why he had been placed there among all those heroes. “I was placed there that day, so that I could be here this day asking you to support these people — they deserve it.”

To sign up for this year’s event on Veterans Day, November 11, visit www.graceforvets.org. The website includes easy to-follow instructions on how to participate, plus free marketing materials to help washes promote the event.