Nexen Tire America has announced Retired Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz as recipient of the American Muscle for American Heroes Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T. Nexen Tire partnered with the highly respected Purple Heart Foundation to help select a well-deserving Purple Heart recipient to receive a one-of-a-kind American muscle car, a custom-built 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T 392 Scat Pack.
Diaz was selected by representatives from Nexen and the Purple Heart Foundation from thousands of nominations from across the country. Many of these submissions, which included incredible stories of heroism, patriotism and courage were posted to social media. The campaign was designed to honor a well-deserving veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart Medal after being wounded in combat – and to show gratitude for the safety and security provided to Americans by members of the Armed Forces.
While searching for and clearing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq in 2005, Diaz was severely wounded by an IED explosion. The force of the explosion and flying shrapnel caused several life-threatening injuries throughout his body including the loss of sight in his left eye. Today, Diaz suffers from the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and a seizure disorder. Dedicated to helping other veterans suffering from similar injuries, Diaz co-founded Hidden Wounds, an organization that helps “heroes battle the invisible war at home.” He is currently serving as the organization’s chief operating officer and Project Josiah program manager.
“I am extremely honored to be selected by Nexen Tire and the Purple Heart Foundation as the recipient of the Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T. This is an incredible vehicle and program that has helped bring important attention to the thousands of combat-wounded veterans across the country who are still suffering from the effects of their injuries,” said Diaz. “I would like to thank Nexen Tire, the Purple Heart organizations and everyone else who came together to make this possible, and I am looking forward to using the Challenger to continue helping my fellow wounded veterans.”
“The American Muscle for American Heroes program has been a tremendous platform to help raise awareness for combat wounded veterans and the Purple Heart Foundation,” said Kyle Roberts, senior director of marketing for Nexen Tire America. “I would like to congratulate Steven for being named the recipient of the Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T and thank him for his incredible sacrifice while serving our nation. These partnerships help companies like Nexen Tire show their immense gratitude for our men and women in uniform.”
“Our thanks go out to Nexen Tire for this opportunity to serve a combat wounded veteran,” said Douglas Greenlaw, National Commander for The Military Order of the Purple Heart, USA. “This vehicle donation is what the Military Order of the Purple Heart is all about – helping our country’s veterans in any way we can. This will be a life changing event for Purple Heart recipient, Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz.”
Nexen Tire also partnered with several other leading automotive aftermarket companies to help transform the Dodge Challenger R/T into a muscle car fit for an American hero. The company enlisted the help of renowned car-builder Kenny Pfitzer of Zero to 60 Designs to lead the charge on the custom modifications, which include Nexen Roadian HP Street Sport all-season radial tires.