Our choice this year for the Hero Project Build is Jay Lamborn. Jay is the perfect example of an American Hero! He served in the Marine Corps from 1992-2003 as Marine Security Forces, field radio operator, and combat correspondent. He had to retire due to injuries he received. Since then, he has spent much of his time as a community volunteer and a volunteer for Peace River K9 Search & Rescue Association, Inc. He is the type of person that will help anyone in need! We received several nominations for him (and his therapy dogs, Hope and Cowgirl).
Here is one of several nomination letters for Jay:
Jay Lamborn is a local hero and “jeeper” and in great need of help. Jay is a member of the Peace River K9 Search and Rescue group. Along with his “rescued” K9 Hope, he provides search and rescue services to the community from Tampa to Immokolee. He donates countless hours each month training as a search specialist and K9 Handler. He has donated his jeep and his time to transport personnel and K9s in and out of swamps, around ditches, and into and out of places that people do not really go. He is always willing to lend a hand, and will be the first one to offer his jeep to help any one in need.
Not only is Jay a Search and Rescue Hero, but he is an amazing father. I am not sure how many children he currently has at his house but his door is always open to youth in need. Along with his own children (3 or 4 of them), he recently took in a young lady who was pregnant with no where else to go. She stayed with him and his family in their small Port Charlotte home through her pregnancy and after the baby was born until she was able to get on her feet again. For Jay, this is not unusual, but just part of his incredibly giving heart. When ever some one is in need, Jay is there to help.
Jay is an veteran and suffers with his own medical issues, including physical problems with his knees and ankles, and PTSD related to his service. Yet, he never complains. He just keeps going, and keeps helping and giving to others with a kind and generous heart.
I do not know what kind of Jeep Jay has. I know that the jeep is his primary mode of transportation, and the way he gets his son to work, and his daughter who is legally blind to her doctor appointments. I do know that he has 4 bald tires, and cannot afford to get new ones. I know he desperately needs a custom crate that he can keep his Search and Rescue dog in while he transports her in the Jeep. I do not know all the possibilities for a jeep, but I am sure there are winches, and lights, and shocks that would help Jay’s jeep be more fitting of the hero he is. Please consider helping Jay and his Jeep out this year – even if it is a new set of tires! He is truly deserving.