Dover auto shop surprises Army veteran

From left, are Kevin and Dylan Conley and Doug and Kathy De Angelis at Patriot Auto in Dover. Dylan was expecting to have his ailing truck towed from the shop but to his surprise, the truck was not only repaired, it had a new engine. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — The team at Patriot Auto and Truck Repair in Dover teamed with the father of an Army veteran just back from a 10-month tour in Afghanistan to surprise him for his 22nd birthday.

On July 22, retired Army Major Kevin Conley of Middletown asked his son Dylan to ride with him to the auto repair shop where he had left his ailing 1977 Chevy K10 with the intent of working out a deal with business owners Doug and Kathy De Angelis upon his return.

The bright orange, raised body truck was a mess and needed a number of repairs, the most obvious being its two flat oversized front tires but the biggest being a worn out engine that would have to be rebuilt if it was even salvageable.

After seeing the Conleys pull into his parking lot, Mr. De Angelis approached Dylan to tell him the truck would have to be moved. When Dylan responded he would have it towed away, Mr. De Angelis, a U.S. Navy veteran, shook his hand and informed him that veterans look out for other veterans and that the truck was ready to move on its own.

Repairs had been made and to Dylan’s surprise, the engine had been replaced with a newer, more powerful model and was ready to be road tested. The young soldier was happy to oblige and made several circuits on U.S. 13 between the shop and Rodney Village before emerging with a large grin.

“When Dylan’s dad told us he would be coming to the shop to pick up his truck on a Monday, our crew worked on the vehicle all weekend to have it ready,” said Mr. De Angelis.

Patriot Auto and Truck Care at 497 S. DuPont Highway, works on all models and make vehicles and also offers a discount to military, police, and first responders. Call 302-257-5715 for more information.

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