Oregon Shops Collaborate to Restore Iraq Soldier's Beloved Pickup - BodyShop Business

Oregon Shops Collaborate to Restore Iraq Soldier’s Beloved Pickup

Oregon Army National Guard Spec. Chris Robertson had always hoped to fix up the 1977 Ford F-150 he acquired as a teenager, but college and service with the National Guard meant he had to leave the truck to sit and rust at his parents’ home in Medford, Ore. But thanks to the work of several local shops, Robertson, who has been serving in Iraq, was presented with a completely restored truck when he came home for leave on Jan. 1, the Mail Tribune reported.

The F-150, which was rusted, scratched and covered in peeling paint, was restored by volunteers from Bob Thomas Automotive, Star Body Works, Tom’s Bronco Parts and several jobbers, upholsterers and other automotive specialists in the Medford area. More than two dozen people volunteered to outfit the truck with new body parts, a paint job, rims, tires and upholstery, among other repairs, the Tribune said.

Robertson, 21, told the newspaper he had worked on the truck during high school, but his time away from home left it rusted and neglected. He said he was shocked to find it fixed up.

“It wasn’t just one person doing something nice – it was a lot of people,” he told the Tribune. “I can’t get over what they did. It’s awesome.”

Most of the volunteers on the project told the newspaper they didn’t even know Robertson, but it didn’t matter. The restoration was a labor of love in honor of not only Robertson, but all soldiers serving the U.S.

“That guy put his life on the line for us – it’s the least we could do,” said Star Body Works painter Rob Massey.

Robertson’s National Guard Unit has been serving in Iraq since July 2009, and the project was spearheaded by a parent of two boys who knew Robertson as their volunteer wrestling coach.


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