We’re big fans of our brave men and women serving in the U.S. Military here at the Car Pro. So when we see a story like this, we have to bring it to you.
An Army Sergeant seriously injured while on duty in Afghanistan is getting a new set of wheels thanks to Toyota. The automaker handed over the keys to a special 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to Army Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Hackett at this year’s New York Auto Show.
In 2011, Hackett suffered serious injuries in a bomb blast. He was leading a group to clear a house when he noticed a wire sticking out of the ground. He was unable to avoid the explosion and lost his right leg. Later, he was diagnosed with PTSD.
“The IED went off and the explosion threw me and then I hit the ground. At this point I thought I was just knocked down, pulled down my vest off my face attempted to get up, but I could not,” says Hackett.
Bussani Mobility Team in Bethpage, New York specially outfitted the RAV for Hackett. It has special steering controls and pedals that are accessible with the left foot.
“It is a great honor to work with Toyota to provide Sgt. First Class Hackett and his family with a new vehicle. We are truly grateful for his service and for all of our soldiers and veterans who have kept us safe,” says Bob Vail, chairman of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.
Married with three kids, Hackett served for 19 years in the U.S. Army before he was medically retired in 2013. He did two Afghanistan tours in that time. He also did deployments around the world including in Haiti, Kosovo, and Panama. He earned over a dozen awards including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Purple Heart.
Way to go Toyota for giving him a new set of wheels.