COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – You may have seen the Colorado-based monster truck called “The Veteran” at parades or other events around the state, but you’ve probably never paid any attention to a small blue strip between its wheels.
“I’m a veteran of the Gulf War. I served in the United States Navy and I just thought we should appreciate our veterans,” owner Phil Wilson told FOX31.
Wilson and his team purchased and restored the truck, which has been participating in monster truck events for about a year.
“[I did not want to] just put another silly name on the monster truck, but to give it a tribute was really the goal,” he said.
There are other trucks dedicated to different branches of the military, but The Veteran is the only one dedicated strictly to U.S. Veterans.
“We’ve had people stop and salute the truck,” he said.
At ten feet tall and ten thousand pounds, The Veteran runs just like all the other mega monster trucks out there. It’s a small detail that sets it far apart.
“I feel that we still have a long way to go to get awareness to our veterans, so we came up with the ‘Ride of Honor’,” Wilson said.
The Veteran’s team is taking nominations now for veterans who will be give the Ride of Honor. Thirty veterans who have been hurt or killed in action will be chosen for the honor.
“Those 30 names we will imprint a placard on the side of the truck that will have the name, rank and branch of service that the soldier or military person served,” Wilson said.
The 30 names will ride on the truck for one year. At that time, the team will choose another 30 veterans to honor.
“Their story will go on our website and at the end of that year we’ll take that plaque off and we’ll create a nice plaque and give it to the military member or their family as a thank you,” he said.
While it’s a small detail on such a big truck, the team is hoping it has monster-size meaning for all veterans.
“You know what, it is an honor. It really is,” driver Cody Bengford said when asked about driving the names of 30 veterans for the next year. “I definitely look up to the military and this is something that is really cool that I can somewhat do a small giveback to.”
The nomination form, requirements and more information can be found on The Veteran’s website.AlertMe