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Free car wash for veterans Wednesday
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Francene Escobar, front, with her staff at Quicki-Kleen that are offering veterans free car washes on Veterans Day Wednesday. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Thank-you in action.

That’s what Francene Escobar, the owner Quicki-Kleen Car Wash in Manteca, is doing this Veterans Day to all men and women who served and are serving their country with valor.

“Veterans may visit Quicki-Kleen Car Wash from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to receive a complimentary express car wash. The program is designed to honor Veteran’s Day, to show Quicki-Kleen’s support for our armed forces, and to reward the veterans for their service,” Escobar said.

Called Grace for Vets: Honoring all our service personnel, Escobar said this program “will happen each year starting Wednesday.”
The free car wash, though, is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the story behind Escobar’s generous show of thanks to service men and women is concerned. Her own brother went to Vietnam when he was just 18 years old. And he never came back. He is one of those who remain Missing in Action in the Vietnam conflict.

Six years ago, Escobar finally had a chance to go to Washington, D.C., and touch the shiny face of the Vietnam War Memorial upon which the name of her brother, Sencio “Tacho” Guerrero, Jr. was etched.

“I had a chance to go to Washington, D.C. I saw his name on the wall,” remembered Escobar in a somber voice.

“He was reported as missing in action in Vietnam. They never knew what happened to him. I always think of my brother. He was drafted, and he was excited to go. I was only seven years old at the time,” Escobar said.

When her family was informed about what happened to her brother, “We were very sad,” the Santa Clara-born and –raised Escobar said of her tight-knit Filipino-Hawaiian family.

That personal tragedy was part of the big reason she is extending this small gesture of thanks to all veterans every year on Veteran’s Day starting on Wednesday.

“It is important to remember those who have served our country,” she said.

Veterans who want to avail themselves of this program “will only need to inform Quicki-Kleen verbally that they are veterans in order to receive their free car wash,” she stated in a press release.

But they can also show their military ID if they so wish, she said.

For more details about the Grace for Vets program of Quicki-Kleen, call (209) 823-9159 or log on to

The car wash is located at 707 E. Yosemite Avenue across the street from Lincoln Elementary School.

To contact Rose Albano Risso, e-mail or call (209) 249-3536.