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Nexen Tire Builds Custom Jeep Gladiator With Kenny Pfitzer To Honor Purple Heart Recipient

The Nexen Hero nomination period runs through July 24 and the recipient will be announced on Aug. 7, which is National Purple Heart Day.


Nexen Tire America has announced the details of the fully customized 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S that will be given away on National Purple Heart Day (Aug. 7) to a combat-wounded veteran as part of the “Nexen Hero” program.

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Featuring Nexen 35-inch Roadian MTX Xtreme Off-Road Mud Terrain tires, the giveaway is a sequel to the “American Muscle for American Heroes” program that ran last year. Just like last year’s program, Nexen Tire and the Purple Heart Foundation have teamed up for a second time to honor a well-deserving Purple Heart recipient – this time with a customized 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

Purple Heart recipient and retired Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz was selected by the Purple Heart Foundation as the first program’s recipient of a custom 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T 392 Scat Pack equipped with Nexen Roadian HP Street Sport all-season radial tires. The program is designed to show Nexen Tire’s gratitude for the safety and security provided by U.S. service members and veterans.

Diaz was severely wounded by an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion while conducting combat operations in Iraq in 2005. The incident left him with the permanent effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), post traumatic stress (PTS) and a seizure disorder. Steven now is medically retired from the military and has used his experiences and recovery process to dedicate himself to helping other veterans suffering from similar injuries. He co-founded an organization called Hidden Wounds, which helps “heroes battle the invisible war at home” and he currently serves as its chief operating officer and program manager.


This year’s program features an iconic vehicle that has been one of the most exciting vehicle launches in decades. With the help of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nexen Tire America was able to purchase one of the first publicly available 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S’s in the nation. Waiting for the Gladiator was legendary car builder Kenny Pfitzer of Zero to 60 Designs, who took his original knowledge of the first campaign to spearhead the Gladiator build.

This year’s program includes five 35-inch Nexen Roadian MTX Xtreme Off-Road Mud Terrain tires, which have been paired with GRID GD5 off-road wheels finished in a gloss graphite milled hue. The build also features several genuine Mopar performance and off-road parts, which have been specifically designed for the all-new Gladiator.

The exterior of the Gladiator features bold Purple Heart and Nexen Tire graphics designed to help bring awareness to the nation’s Purple Heart recipients and Nexen Tire America’s dedication to honoring the nation’s wounded veterans.

Companies and products partnering in the build include:

  • Nexen 35-inch Roadian MTX Xtreme Off-Road Mud Terrain tires
  • LINE-X PLATINUM bedliner featuring UV stability and a lifetime warranty
  • GRID G5 off-road wheels
  • Katzkin Automotive leather seats
  • Mopar Steel tube-door kit
  • Jeep grab handles
  • Jeep 2-inch lift complete suspension kit featuring Fox Racing shocks
  • Mopar Map kit for interior
  • Jeep three-piece Rubicon front bumper
  • Mopar grill and winch guard
  • Mopar winch guard light mounting bracket
  • Mopar 7-inch off-road LED light kit
  • Rubicon auxiliary switch bank
  • Mopar-brand upgraded floor mats
  • Program promotion by Ignite Design & Advertising and DRIVEN360 Integrated Brand Marketing & Communications Firm
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

“The incredible success of the American Muscle for American Heroes program helped Nexen Tire bring national awareness to the sacrifice of Purple Heart, so we are excited to announce the details of the Jeep Gladiator, which will be presented to another deserving Purple Heart recipient,” said John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen Tire America. “The nation’s wounded veterans have given so much to the country that it was our privilege to bring together an incredible group of patriotic build partners to create one of the most incredible Jeep Gladiators in the country for a select Purple Heart recipient.”


The Nexen Hero nomination period runs through July 24 and the recipient will be announced on Aug. 7, which is National Purple Heart Day. Nominees must be a member of Military Order of The Purple Heart and the Jeep Gladiator recipient will be selected by members of the Purple Heart Foundation based on a variety of factors including heroism, sacrifice and an ongoing commitment to their community.

For more information on the Purple Heart Foundation, visit

Visit to nominate a Purple Heart recipient and for official giveaway rules.


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