Community steps up after donation money for veterans is stolen
COLUMBIA - Donations are flooding into Mutrux Automotive, following the Tuesday theft of a military donation jug.
Ross and Cindy Mutrux credit the local community for the outpouring of donations.
"I didn't know what it meant until I posted this on my Facebook page that our little blue jug had been stolen, never dreaming in a million years it would go viral the way it did. I want to tell you, Columbia rocks," Cindy Mutrux said.
Each year, the donations collected from the jug allow Mutrux to pay for two veterans flights to Washington D.C., where veterans visit the memorial of the war they served in.
With the donations raised since the jar was stolen, that number is set to increase.
"As far as I can count probably $1,600 has been donated and in Honor Flight terms that is about five to six veterans that will now be able to go on that trip," Mutrux said.
Honor Flight director Steve Paulsell said, for the veterans, the flight means more than words can describe.
"Literally lives are changed because of something that is way beyond my comprehension in terms of the healing for these guys. We hear so many incredible stories from these guys and their families after the flight experience," Paulsell said.
The five-gallon water jug was taken during regular business hours, sometime in the afternoon, according to Mutrux.
Mutrux said she is not turning in the surveillance tapes because she wants the person to come forward and do the right thing.
"I would have to sit them down and explain to them that what they took was from veterans who fought for them, who wrote a blank check, and thought nothing of writing that blank check. Who does that? It's heartbreaking and I can only pray that they'll do the right thing and return the money with the jug," Mutrux said.