The Thin Line: Warren Sims
All American Auto Service Supports Local Veterans
The adage, “When one door shuts, another door opens” seems to apply to the life of veteran and co-owner of All American Auto Service, Warren Sims.
After a series of events and a period of serving the country in the Army, he had the opportunity to open a full-service auto facility. The business honors those who serve the community by offering free oil changes to veterans on Veterans Day and discounts all year round to veterans and first responders.
Sims is a Kokomo native and attended Kokomo High School. In 2009, he was working at Button Motors when the financial downturn affected the local economy. So, at age 27, he joined the Army.
“I was stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana and specialized in operating heavy equipment,” Sims says. “In 2013, after active duty, I was accepted into a program for my dream job, a physical therapy assistant (PTA). But in 2014, as I was still serving in the Army Reserves, I was called up and deployed to Afghanistan.
“When I came home in 2015, the PTA program had been dissolved, and it was back to the drawing board,” he adds. “I made the decision to start All America Auto Service, and we opened on October 1 of that year. There have been lots of struggles and hurdles, but we made three and five-year goals and met them. We recently purchased a building and moved to our new location at 810 South Reed Road.”
Today, the business handles both major and minor repairs as well as maintenance needs for both private owners and fleet cars for businesses. Each Veterans Day the business provides free oil changes to veterans. NAPA Auto Parts absorbs some of the cost by providing filters, but All American Auto Service provides the labor and other materials.
From the beginning, the auto service facility has supported area fundraisers. In 2017, Sims and other workers restored a 70-year-old truck and donated it to We Care to be auctioned off. The business Facebook page spreads the news of and supports Kokomo organizations and their events.
“Serving in the military was life-changing for me,” Sims says. “It was an opportunity to see things differently. One of the biggest pieces was working with the people in Afghanistan. After seeing what the Afghan people went through, it was eye-opening to realize how good we have it here.
“When I was in Afghanistan, we weren’t engaged in as much combat as others, but we had our share. When you go to war, you get close to guys because it might be the last group of people you will get to know. It’s similar with my crew now. We talk with each other every day. We are very much like a family.”
All American Auto Service is located at 810 South Reed Road in Kokomo. For more information, give them a call at 765-450-8485.