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Mechanic fixes airman’s car for free

It’s the season of giving, and it’s a brotherhood that inspired a Maumee mechanic to do just that.
Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:54 PM EST
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - Hunter Duby is an airman with the 180th Fighter Wing. He’s currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Hunter’s mom, Andrea Duby, tells 13abc, “I can’t send him anything for Christmas in Afghanistan, so I decided to surprise him when he gets home.”

That surprise: a new muffler on his 2008 Toyota Corolla. Duby says, “I called Muffler Man, told him he can take his time, that my son is in Afghanistan. So, I dropped it off.”

But when she picked up the car, she found more than what she asked for. “He put new windshield wipers on the car, he gave him an oil change, and he said ‘I noticed his brakes were bad, so I fixed his brakes.’”

Justin Richardson is a working manager for Muffler Man in Maumee, and he’s the one who worked on hunter’s car. He served in the navy and deployed three times. Richardson says, “They told me he can’t get any care packages or anything, and that’s really awful because you count on those when you’re on deployment. It really boosts your morale to know that you’re halfway around the world and people care about you.”

Duby says when she heard about the additional work done on the car, “I kind of was like, ‘okay, I didn’t ask for all this stuff.’ And then he said ‘I’m not charging you for anything. Hunter is serving this country and I’m happy to fix his car.”

Richardson adds, “His mom cried and gave me a hug, which about made me cry.” He says the work would have cost $500 to $600, but he says, “I never really even thought about adding it up.” And Duby says she’s thankful to be able to give her son a better car to come home to. She tells 13abc, “it’s very good, quiet!”

Andrea says she already told hunter about the gift from muffler-man, and he plans to go in and thank Richardson in person when he comes home in 2021.

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