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The Hero Project is an event that started in 2016. Family and friends of Jeff Kelly, known at the time as the Jeep Peeps, came to the shop with around $400 inquiring about a lift for his jeep. Army Veteran E-6 SSGT Jeff Kelly was injured overseas when hit with an IED, resulting in the loss of his leg and leading to many other medical issues. His therapy, when he returned home, was trail riding; however, he could not conquer many trails with his stock Jeep. Linda and Jim, owners of Savage 4x4, decided instead of saying there was nothing they could do with the money raised, that they would take his jeep and SAVAGE it. Many fundraisers and donations later, with the help of friends, employees and the Jeep Peeps, the reveal was made.
This was only the first build, which led to several more builds for our Hero Project. In 2017 we had such an overabundance of nominations that we couldn't just choose one hero and we chose THREE. Veteran Jay Lamborn, US Marines and currently volunteering with Peace River K9 Search and Rescue, Joshua Golliher, US Army, currently working as a Firefighter/EMT and Edward Vuolo, US Army, currently traveling the country helping with disasters with the Department of Forestry.
In 2018, we took on two projects. First was the Jeep that belonged to Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller, a police officer that was killed in the line of duty. His mom and dad allowed us to take the Jeep and make it a memorial to represent their son and all of the officers in the Fort Myers Police Department, as well as K-9s, that also died in the line of duty. A Nissan Xterra was also donated to us that we customized and gave to a local Veteran, Thomas Fresquet, US Army, to help him get back on his feet and continue helping the community, which is what he loves to do.
We've came out of pocket thousands of dollars for each build so we're always looking for donations and sponsors to help give back to these heroes who risked and/or sacrificed so much for us. Please call us if you want to be a part of our Hero Project either by nomination, donation, sponsor and support in any way.
The heartwarming reveal can be seen below.
**Disclaimer** Please have a box of tissues near before viewing the video.
To honor our Military Personnel and First Responders who serve to protect our country and our communities. Our hope is to give a little light in a time of darkness to these Heroes.
Check out this great video
This is the Jeep the day we met his family at the Fort Myers Police Department.
This Jeep goes to events to represent Adam and the other FMPD police officers and K-9's that died in the line of duty.
Presented to Thomas Fresquet, 2018, this Nissan Xterra was donated for the Hero Project. After repairs and refresh, we were able to give it to this Veteran that needed to get back to it after serving.
This was after we revealed his build.
In 2018 we did 1 complete build for this Marine Veteran and volunteer for Peace River Search and Rescue.
We wanted to do a build for all of our nominations, so we compromised and did a little something for this deserving Veteran and First Responder.
From planning to reveal, a lot goes into these builds. Here is an overview.
At this event, everyone knew we were going to announce the winner, but nobody knew who that would be.
Hello Jim and Linda, I would like to recommend my very good friend, Travis Livingston, for the 2019 Hero Project. He is an Army Vet, and currently serving in the reserves. He was stationed with and served along side my brother for several years while on active duty. Since leaving the Army on active duty, he has relocated to the local area, and is currently working as a wild land firefighter for the Department of Forestry, and is based in Felda. Travis is a very good guy, a father of three, and a hero in my books, below are the numerous qualifications and different things he has done. I believe Travis deserves to be recognized for his never ending support of his community, the people in the towns he works in, and his willingness to put his life on the line. Travis is very humbled, very respected, and an incredible individual.
FIRE JOBS: Certified as Firefighter in 2006 in VA 2006-2007-Firefighter-Newsoms Volunteer Fire Department in VA 2010-2013-Fire Lieutenant-Sandy Hill Fire Rescue, Leesville,LA (Recipient of Hurst Green Cross Award while here) 2016-2016-Firefighter-Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department,Fort Cambell, KY 2018-Present- Professional Wild land Firefighter- Florida Forest Service, Felda,FL
MILITARY: Active Duty: 2009-2010- Infantry OSUT & Delta CO/30th AG, Fort Benning, GA 2010-2013-46th Engineer Battalion (Heavy)(Combat),Fort Polk,LA 2013-2015-2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck/Grafenwoehr, Germany 2013-2015-2nd Cavalry Regiment, Operation Enduring Freedom 13-14, Kandahar, Afghanistan 2015-2016-101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY RESERVES: 2016-Present-388th Engineer Company(Route Clearance) Lake Park,FL
MILITARY JOBS: Infantry Man Recovery Specialist Instructor
MILITARY AWARDS: Army Commendation Metal (x2) Army Achievement Medal (x8) Army Good Conduct Medal (x2) Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal NCO Professional Development Award Meritorious Unit Citation German Schutzenschnur-Silver
Please take time to consider Travis for the recognition I believe he definitely deserves after faithfully serving his community in the military and as a first responder.
Humbly Submitted. Nolan Connell
Your support and contributions will enable us to continue to give back to our wonderful heroes. Your generous donation will fund our project.
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