In 2004, a non-profit group called "Operation Comfort" remodeled 12 waiting rooms at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. Because family members of wounded service members were spending so much time there, the thought was that a bright, new look would make the rooms more inviting.
But that was just the group's first program. When they asked the wounded vets what other things they'd like to get involved in, they said that they'd like to work on restoring cars. And that's when their "Automotivation" program got off the ground.
It started with a trip to the 2006 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and has continued as participating troops visit the show every year.
Recently the guys were able to showcase a "blended" vehicle they had restored. The build started with an ’84 Ford Bronco. They restored the chassis, and then decided NOT to put the Bronco body back on top! Instead they decided to use the body of a ’54 Dodge Power Wagon (an old Army weapons carrier), but it didn't fit, so they cut down the bed of the truck. When they were asked why they didn't just use the Dodge chassis, they commented that they had already invested too much time and energy to go backwards. During the 5-year build of the Bronco/Weapons Carrier, relationships were formed that will last a lifetime, even though some members of the work group have since left the medical center.
Considering all the physical and emotional turmoil these vets have to endure daily, we salute them for having the perseverance and resolve to complete these kind of projects...and so beautifully as well!
To find out more about Operation Comfort, please visit their web site.