Story Archive

Call of Duty

When U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Alexzandria Kelly deployed to Somalia, she notified her homeowner’s association that she’d be gone. She left behind a 1972 AMC Gremlin she had inherited from her father. Kelly said the classic car “was a tangible link to her late father, a decorated Korean War veteran.” She left it parked in a designated space with the proper sticker, but when she returned to her townhouse complex in Broward County, Fla., the car had been towed. Letters had been sent to Kelly’s townhouse instead of the address she had given the association, and by the time she returned, the Gremlin had been sold as scrap for $525. Kelly alleges the company failed to comply with the Service Members Civil Relief Act, which requires a court order before enforcing any lien on property while a servicemember is on active duty. West Way owner Craig Goldstein said he wasn’t aware of the federal law but wishes he had been. Goldstein, who identifies himself as a strong military supporter who never charges servicemembers for tows, tried to apologize and pay Kelly the money from the sale. Kelly refused the money and is suing the tow company, but not the HOA, for unspecified damages for “mental pain and shock, suffering, aggravation, humiliation and embarrassment together with the loss of the Gremlin.” (MS/South Florida Sun-Sentinel) ...Clearly, there’s at least one Gremlin still in her.
Original Publication Date: 08 February 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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