Cosmic Cars

Cosmic army awaits children

Howard Lane, Veteran who still serves community


By Gary Bégin

Some veterans never stop serving their country and their community. Howard Lane is one of those.

He is responsible for the idea and the creation of Cosmic Cars - wooden toys for kids. Nothing fancy, just pure fun.

Lane states, "I got the idea after some discussions with Tony Sandoval on his future vision for the CCVSO.  His basic mission of helping veterans deal with the VA is priority #1, but he mentioned he'd like to see more veterans getting involved with the community through independent service projects like this one. Getting not only the involvement of local vets but, local people, community groups and businesses working together on a project that would benefit others in a positive and constructive manner."

Lane relates, "I served three years in the U.S. Army. Most of my service was spent in an Armored Division/Armored Cavalry Regiment.  My primary MOS was Armor Crewman. Once assigned to a permanent duty station I received additional training in Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons."

How does Lane get the raw materials for the cars he creates? "I receive my raw materials at no cost through the generosity of Noble Truss and Lumber Co. in Wenatchee and most of my tools and supplies are donated to the project by other vets, and members of the local community, said Lane.

"The recipients of the toys are The Josepha Harle Foundation. This is a non-profit foundation founded by their son Mark Harle ... an Army veteran, to help local foster children. 'Operation Santa Claus' during the Christmas Holidays which is sponsored by NCW Vets Serving Vets Organization in Wenatchee (I work with Bob Ashford who served in the U.S. Marine Corp) and the Eastmont Baptist church group who send Christmas boxes to poor children in other countries during the holidays. (Ron Polly ... U.S. Army veteran, is part of this congregation and brought their fine work to my attention. Some of the toys will go to local vets I know with young children," said Lane.

Lane went on to say, "Throughout my life I have always remembered the words of my father  … 'A true man will be known by the kindness and compassion he shows his fellow man and by the planting and nurturing of seeds from his heart into the hearts of children and the earth beneath his feet. In humility and gratitude will be his true legacy. Not in coins on the counter or by false praise from men but in the silent smile of a needy child with joy." 

Howard stated, "I have tried very hard to live up to these fine words of a man I respected greatly for his service to our country, the love of his god and how he sacrificed so much and work very hard to love and provide for his family. I love this country and sometimes feel so helpless to make any difference at all. My service to this country never ended. It just took different shapes. I have always been thankful and grateful for the opportunities afforded me to help others. I will until the end. I am blessed my the friendship of Tony and Mark and felt this project might be some inspiration to another veteran to step up and do their own projects. Sharing and caring for each other is how we keep our country truly free and great. God Bless America!"

To reach Howard and volunteer call 509-745-8061after 11 a.m. most any day or email

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