CARLSBAD — During his time, you were either drafted into the military or you went to college.
JD Duncan knew he wasn’t headed to college, so he went into the military right out of high school.
Duncan, a Carlsbad resident, ended up in the Navy where he would work to lead a radar crew on a World War II-era destroyer.
“It was a shock,” he said. The size of the ship was small, the bunks were held up by chains.
Duncan said then, that he wasn’t sure he could do this for the next three years.
“But you get used to it,” he said. “The space gets bigger and bigger…It turns out, it was the best thing I ever did.”
And Duncan remains proud of the time that he served and the opportunities it provided to him.
Now, the owner of an advertising agency and chairperson with North Coast Vettes is using his abilities to bring the Vettes for Veterans car show back for a second year.
“I feel so much for these kids today and families that that’s kind of, I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but I really feel it’s time to give back as much as we can,” he said.
The car show is geared toward helping military veterans.
In timing the event with Veterans Day, the name for the event just came to him, he said. “It just rings with everybody.”
Last year, the show raised more than $7,000 with all of the proceeds, Duncan said, going to veteran-based charities.
This year, Duncan wants to reach a goal of $8,000. “I think we can do it,” he said. “I think we can do it because we have more cars, we have more interest — it’s like a snowball going downhill.”
The club, this time, selected the Semper-Fi Fund and the Cal Diego Veterans Association to split all of the funds that will be raised from the raffles and silent auctions, the registration and from the vendors during the event.
If the car shows should continue in the future, what Duncan would like to see is for the funds to go to different charities each year.
And the cost to attend the event for the public — that’s free.
This year’s show is featuring more than 130 Corvettes, mostly from local owners. That includes a 1954 model, the car’s second year of production, all the way through to the seventh generation of Corvette with the brand new 2014 model.
Duncan was introduced to the muscle car from the TV show “Route 66,” starring a former Del Mar resident Martin Milner and George Maharis.
“I watched that show in black and white. As a kid I said, ‘You know, that’s my dream. I’d like to have a car like that and cruise.’ And by God, when I got to be 30-some years old and I was fairly settled in Ohio, I started looking around.”
For a year he searched for the car that he wanted. At the time, he knew only that he wanted a classic car.
After a year of searching Duncan found a trashed 1962 Corvette.
He purchased it, and eventually, after he moved from Ohio to California, he got the car restored.
“And the pleasure of showing the car at these car shows, and people coming up to me giving me these stories…it’s so fun talking to these people,” he said.
“When it’s Vettes for Veterans, many of the people that will come to that, are vets that have Corvettes,” he said.
The event is Nov. 9 in the parking lot of T.G.I. Friday’s at 850 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The North Coast Vettes meet the first Tuesday of each month at the Q Restaurant and Sports Bar in Oceanside. Visit them online at northcoastvettes.org.