- Last Updated: 8:50 PM, May 27, 2012
- Posted: 1:25 AM, May 27, 2012
No need to hump it this Memorial Day, soldier.
For three days, Frederick Dove is giving away free taxi rides to veterans — and any other passenger in military uniform.
“They are doing something that is a thankless job that no one appreciates,” the Brooklyn-born former Marine told The Post. “This is to say, ‘thank you’ to them.”
Dove, 58, said he plans to hit all the Fleet Week/Memorial Day hot spots — the Intrepid aircraft carrier, the VA Medical Center on East 23rd Street, and Times Square, where guys and gals in uniform routinely flock.
“I’ll see a lot of uniforms — it’s just a matter of getting to them, because some New Yorkers will just run up and get in the cab first.”
The freebie comes courtesy of a Vietnam vet whose military bloodlines date back to the first Great War — his grandfather Robert served in the Army in WWI, and his father Sylvan served in the Navy during WWII.
And his son Jason, 21, is in the first year of a three-year stint in the Army.
“I didn’t necessarily want him to go. He can be hurt. Hurt bad. But part of me is so proud of him — but I can’t tell him that until he comes home safe.”
Drafted in 1972, Dove spent two years as a grunt in Cambodia, and returned home, shocked.
“There weren’t any parades for us. No one wanted to see us,” he said.
After the military, he worked as a correction officer for the next 25 years in Greenhaven, Sing Sing, and Rikers. Compared to Vietnam, they felt “safe.”
To make ends meet, the father of three began driving a cab part-time in 1976 — and he’s been hacking ever since.
“Where are my uniforms?” the eagle-eyed driver said as The Post sat shotgun in his Ford SUV on Thursday.
Near the Intrepid, he spied Chris Hallissy, 51, a Navy master chief petty officer.
“I think it’s nice that he wants to do something for the men and women that are here,” said Long Islander Hallissy.
True to his word, Dove shuttled Hallissy to LaGuardia airport, free of charge.
“He tried to pay when we got there, but I wouldn’t let him,” Dove said.
No surprise there — tattooed on the cabbie’s right arm is a simple maxim: “Death before dishonor.”