Volvo of Dallas sponsoring Legion of Valor tolls on North Texas pikes
By Peter Samuel
Astute marketing? Philanthropy? Patriotism? Smart publicity? Tapping into public support for the greatest of veterans? A car dealer in Dallas arranging to pay the tolls of Legion of Valor (LoV) members at the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) looks like all of that.
The NTTA announcement says: "Volvo of Dallas has joined forces with the North Texas Tollway Authority to sponsor tolls for Legion of Valor recipients. The Legion of Valor is awarded to individuals who have achieved the highest level of service to the United States and includes recipients of the military's highest honors including the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross. Due the generosity and commitment of Volvo of Dallas, the program allows those who have achieved the nation's highest military honor to receive free passage on all NTTA tollways."
For his part the general manager of Volvo of Dallas, Pedro Palenzuela is quoted: "On behalf of the entire staff at Volvo of Dallas, I would like to extend my gratitude to the men and women of our country who defend our independence every day. I am honored to be able to give back to those who've given up so much to fight for our freedom."
Under the plan toll transponders (brand TollTag) issued to LoV members will be billed to Volvo of Dallas. The Tollway under its trust agreement with bondholders can't exempt any but emergency vehicles from tolls.
Michael Rey, NTTA spokesman says this is the only sponsorship program of its type they're involved in, and that it was NTTA's idea: "We approached Volvo of Dallas with idea, and they picked up on it." (CORRECTION)
NTTA will use the state Department of Motor Vehicles to vet the LoV applicants. It already does that under a special license plate series issued to LoV members.
"Volvo will be featured on the NTTA website for enabling the program," Rey says.
LoV medals are not issued lightly.
The National Adjutant of the Legion Philip J Conran AFC of Santa Barbara CA tells us there are only around 675 medal holders of the Legion total nationwide and around the world. There are 52 in Texas, 12 in the Dallas metro area.
He says this is a first:
"The Legion of Valor does not actively seek benefits like this but they are certainly appreciated when received. Texas stands tall in our eyes. The action of Volvo of Dallas is outstanding."
Volvo of Dallas is quite a car dealership too - #1 Volvo dealer in the country.
And what a location!
It has an address on a toll road: 6600 State Highway 121 Frisco TX. That's the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
They're right off not one but two tollroads.
Their showroom and lot is almost in the shadow of the towering 4 level interchange of the Sam Rayburn and the Dallas North Tollways.