Albuquerque businessman aims to honor men, women who served


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A newly-opened car wash on Albuquerque’s west side is providing a free car wash to veterans on Veterans Day. Freedom Wash opened only one week ago but its owner already has big plans for how he can support local men and women who have served in the military.

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Joe Maez is a realtor and veteran himself. He said he noticed the run-down car wash that used to be in the same location and saw the potential to clean it up. “It feels good to bring this property back to the community in the shape that it’s in. I got a little emotional and made a pretty sizable investment, but it’s worth it because good things take sacrifice, just like freedom took sacrifice,” Maez said.

Maez said the inspiration for Freedom Wash continues to be to honor those who fought for the country’s freedom. Though the business just opened, he already has his eye on creating a foundation for veterans who have terminal illnesses or injuries. “This is about doing something that’s different. Kind of like TOMS shoes or Make a Wish, we want people to be proud that they spent money here because it’s going to go back to our Veterans,” Maez said. “Doing something for these veterans to give them some kind of a memory that they can remember with their families forever.”

Even if people don’t come through the car wash, Maez said, he hopes the business will serve as a reminder to the community. “Whether they use the car wash or not if they look at the sign and see ‘freedom’ it’s a reminder of what it took to get freedom,” Maez said. “Personally, I know the sacrifices that it takes to get freedom, We just want to say ‘thank you’ and really remind the community what veterans have done for us and how we need to be thankful for it.”

Freedom Wash is located at 2200 Ladera NW in Albuquerque. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Photos before and after the renovations done for Freedom Wash. Photo courtesy Joe Maez.

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