Veteran, BHC student receives SUV to get to campus

man in red jacket hugging man in black jacket in parking lot front of red Ford ExplorerFormer Marine Jason Roberts is traveling down a new road — at age 42, he’s a full-time college student pursuing an associate in arts degree.

But a few weeks into his first semester, he needed assistance getting to campus.

The BHC Military Students and Veterans Club and Tom Reagan, BHC veterans coordinator, became aware of the situation. Reagan reached out to Jim Whan, owner of Automotive Central in East Moline.

On Oct. 25, Whan came to the Quad-Cities Campus and handed Roberts the keys to a 2005 Ford Explorer.

“I’m just floored,” Roberts said. “This is like so many birthdays put together.”

The East Moline resident served in the infantry on active duty from 1995-99 and in the Reserves from 2000-04.

A variety of circumstances caused Roberts to be without a car for the last two years. Earlier this year he moved to the Quad Cities. He’s living with his mother for the first time since high school and is determined to keep his life moving forward.

The day after getting the SUV, Roberts drove himself to a job interview. He got the job.

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Red Ford Explorer in parking lot with man and woman hugging in front of it
Lillian Schatz, president of the BHC Military Students and Veterans Club, congratulates Jason Roberts with a hug.
College closed for Wednesday January 23 due to inclement weather. All Black Hawk College locations are closed and all classes canceled.