Phoenixville Tires Plus helps out busload of stranded veterans

Peter Reis, second from left, stands with his team from Tires Plus in Phoenixville outside the broken down bus carrying a group of veterans. Pictured with Reis, from left, are Gary Underwood, Austin Catlin and Dennis Wilson.
Peter Reis, second from left, stands with his team from Tires Plus in Phoenixville outside the broken down bus carrying a group of veterans. Pictured with Reis, from left, are Gary Underwood, Austin Catlin and Dennis Wilson. Photo courtesy of Cesaley Sparks
Peter Reis, manager of Tires Plus in Phoenixville, shakes hands with one of the veterans he assisted with a flat tire Saturday. Reis provided the labor and the tire for free as a thank you for their service.
Peter Reis, manager of Tires Plus in Phoenixville, shakes hands with one of the veterans he assisted with a flat tire Saturday. Reis provided the labor and the tire for free as a thank you for their service. Photo courtesy of Cesaley Sparks

PHOENIXVILLE >> A local business is getting a lot of praise lately for a good deed that helped out some stranded veterans.

Members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 542 had been on their way back from a trip to see the Battleship New Jersey at around 2 p.m. on Saturday when their bus got a flat tire. With no spare tires or jack, the veterans were stranded and made their way to Tires Plus, 1071 Township Line Road, Phoenixville, for assistance.

“A bus of about 15 to 20 guys rolled into our back lot and explained their situation,” said Peter Reis, manager of Tires Plus. “I looked at their tire and there were some gaping holes in it and it needed to be replaced.”

The veterans then made their way over to nearby pizzeria, Bella Napoli, 1065 Township Line Road, to get food while Reis and his team repaired the bus.

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Not long after, the veterans returned to pay Reis for what would typically be a $210 fix. Reis told them, however, that their service had been enough and that their money was no good there.

“The decision was made when I asked Warren, one of the men on the bus, who owned the bus and he told me the VVA owned it. So I then decided I was going to take care of the tire purchase,” said Reis.

“It’s great for the store but even better for them because they were forgotten about when they came back and sometimes what they did is still forgotten about. This is a way to say thank you for what you guys did and for putting your life on the line for us so that I can come to work every day and help people. It was an instant thing. I knew I was going to take care of the tire for them,” he said.

The group was overwhelmed with Reis’ generosity and took to Facebook to publicly thank him and his team.

“I (we) don’t tear up much but we were very close and handshakes, hugs and thanks were everywhere,” read a Facebook post from Warren Castaneira. “Thank you so much, Peter and your great team. We will never forget the kindness shown to our members and insuring we all got home safe and sound.”

Castaneira went on to add that he was also grateful to Bella Napoli, who he said also informed the veterans that they did not have to pay after their meal at the restaurant.

“My head is still spinning,” said Castaneira.

Reis said he has kept in contact with Castaneira and that he recently invited him to the veterans chapter in Harrisburg to accept a plaque for his help.

“I told my guys, they know how we operate and we did a very good thing and I think all four of us slept well knowing we helped them out,” said Reis. “I wish people would do more things like this especially for the vets. We’re here to help and that’s what we’re all about.”