When Dennis Packee wrote his now viral letter to Jaime, he had no idea what he was truly in for. Thankfully, it’s for a very heartwarming reason!
Christopher Walters has been in the US Army for over 25 years. He owned a beloved Harley Davidson that he cherished very deeply and didn’t have any place to store for it a long time. So when he found out that he was to be deployed overseas he knew he had to find a place that would keep his bike safe and secure rather quickly. Thankfully, near his home was a Harley-Davidson dealer that allowed bike owners to store their bikes for a small fee. So Christopher left his bike there and was deployed soon after.
Christopher’s wife Jaime Walters promised to pay the storage bills while he was gone.
Unfortunately, Jaime realized not long after Christopher left that she bit off more than she could chew. Between the couple’s two young children and all of her other responsibilities, she was quickly overwhelmed. The bill for the bike’s storage simply slipped her mind.
Thankfully, Jaime would find out her mistake not too long after and mailed in a late check along with an apology letter. She didn’t expect anything to really come of the apology letter, but she wanted them to understand that it was a simple mistake.
A couple of days after she sent in the letter, however she got an envelope back from the dealership. What was inside touched her.
It turns out that Dennis Packee, the owner of Reiman’s Harley-Davidson read Jaime letter himself. He knew that he couldn’t accept her money in good conscience. Jaime and her family needed it far more than Dennis did. So he told his staff in no uncertain words that they were to return her check.
You send that money back to her.
In addition to Jaime’s returned check, inside the envelope from Raimen Harley-Davidson was a letter.
“Enclosed, you will find the check you mailed to us regarding the account of Christopher. It is the policy of Remain’s Harley-Davidson to waive storage fees for our active duty service members who are deployed. It is our honor to keep your bike safe and secure while you provide us with our freedoms. We hope you return to us safe and sound. Until that time, we will store your bike at no charge to you. This is our way of saying ‘Thank You’ for your service to our country.”
The policy to waive fees for active duty soldiers was created by Dennis himself over 20 years ago. The history of the policy dates all the way back to the days of the Vietnam war. Dennis was almost drafted into the war, however when the Army looked over his medical records they realized he was unfit for service. He was discharged and sent back home.
Even though Dennis never went to war, this experience changed how Dennis viewed the men and women who serve in our armed forces.
So Dennis created the policy that allows active duty soldiers who are deployed overseas to have their fees waived when storing their bikes. Those who were storing their bikes simply had no other choice as they were thousands of miles away from home. Dennis thought it was the least he could do for those soldiers.
Jaime couldn’t believe what she read on the letter. As a wife of an active duty soldier, she was used to people thanking her husband for his service, but it was rare for someone to go above and beyond to help like this.
I was so grateful and thankful that someone recognized our troops and doesn’t just say, ‘we support our troops,’ they physically show it
Jaime was so inspired by the letter that she decided to share the letter with her friends and family on Facebook. Immediately after it was posted, the letter went viral and spread across the internet like wildfire. Dennis had all but forgotten about the letter, as it was a policy he had in place for over 20 years. Then out of the blue, Dennis was flooded with calls, all thanking and praising him for supporting the troops in such an amazing way.
Dennis has never really used Facebook and couldn’t believe that hundreds of thousands of people had seen the letter that he mailed and actually called him. It reignited his love for America in general.
“It was impossible to answer them all. I got to thinking, this is America and people DO care. They care about their soldiers and they’re expressing that. American is still America. I was a little worried about how our country was going, and to see people step forward in this way, it’s just enlightened me. A small effort like this, and look where it’s gone. Maybe more will do the same thing.”
That isn’t where this story ends, though. In Feburary of 2015, Representative Cheri Bustos went to Reiman’s Harley Davidson to present the business with a Congressional Record statement to commend them for their incredible policy.
Bustos and Dennis both hope that this act of generosity will spread to other dealerships, so that deployed soldiers can rest easy that their bikes are safe and secure in storage.
In fact, in a meeting of Harley-Davidson dealers, the letter that Dennis sent to Jaime was shown on a screen!
What do you think of this act of kindness towards our military? Should other dealerships follow suit? Tell us down below!