PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Jan. 15, 2015—The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) gifted a full set of Snap-on tools and a custom toolbox to decorated Staff Sgt. Sterling Keith during the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on Thursday in Palm Springs, Calif.
Keith served in the U.S. Navy from 1984–1995, serving a tour in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. He then joined the National Guard while working as a collision repair technician before serving three additional tours in Iraq. He received a total of 38 decorations and is now in the process of being discharged and finding a new job in collision repair.
But during one of his last deployments, all of his tools were stolen.
“When CIF heard this story and looked at what we could do to help, we teamed up with Snap-on and we are gifting a replacement set of tools and a toolbox so sterling can come back into the collision industry and fulfill his professional career,” said CIF President Bill Shaw.
Keith, who traveled from his home in Beaumont, Texas, with wife Becky to attend CIC, received a standing ovation from the conference’s roughly 300 attendees and made a brief, to-the-point remark on stage.
“I just want to say thank you very much,” he said. “If it weren’t for people like you, I wouldn’t be able to be up here. I wouldn’t be able to get back to work.”