All eyes were on the gorgeous red, white, and blue 2007 Ford Stryker Mustang as it was ushered on to the auction block by wounded veterans during the Mecum Muscle Cars & More auction in Dallas Sept. 6. When the gavel fell, $100,000 was raised for The Roever Foundation’s Operation Warrior RECONnect.
The George Shinn Foundation donated the proceeds from the auction to Operation Warrior RECONnect, which operates the Eagle Summit Ranch in Colorado where wounded veterans find respite and a special place to recover, receive encouragement and training. The program is dedicated to rebuilding self-esteem, confidence, and family relationships in our nation’s heroes. Many of Operation RECONnect’s participants come in search of themselves and are seeking direction after the traumatic experiences of war.
“I was blown away by the hugely generous donation of the 2007 Stryker Mustang by the George Shinn Foundation to benefit our work with America’s heroes through our Operation Warrior RECONnect,” said Dave Roever. “Seeing the gorgeous ALL AMERCIAN car roll out escorted by our young heroes as well as veterans from the Korean War Veterans Association was electric! Being at the Mecum Auction and watching outstanding buyers go for the car, with such respect for our heroes, was heart-grabbing! The lives of warriors will no longer be described as ‘wounded’– they will be forever known as OVERCOMING HEROES! All this because of the George Shinn Foundation – you ROCK!”
Jimmie Deal, a Texas businessman, veteran, and supporter of this nation’s armed forces, along with his car collecting partner, Tony Lehoski, were the winning bidders. The duo collects cars for a cause and plan to show the Mustang at a variety of events to help build awareness of The Roever Foundation and Operation Warrior RECONnect.
Operation Warrior RECONnect’s Roever, who was wounded during Vietnam, gave a moving speech before the auction which struck a chord with Deal, also a Vietnam vet.
“It absolutely moved me. I’m all about supporting the troops,’’ Deal said. “Why do they (serve)? They do it for me and you. That’s selfless giving.’’
View the photo gallery for more images from the auction and watch the auction here.