Nexen Tire America Inc. has presented its third custom vehicle to an American veteran as part of the company's Nexen Hero campaign. Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Ken Cates is the recipient of the 2019 Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler. Cates spent 26 years in the military, beginning when he joined the U.S. Army Reserves at age 18. Then he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served for four years as a shipboard and land-based electronics technician. Then, Cates enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for 22 years. He was deployed during the Iraq War and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Cates retired from the military in August 2015 and now works as CEO of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity in Texas. Since taking on that role Cates has helped the organization triple the number of homes it completes each year, while also managing other repair and community revitalization projects. Additionally, he's led the organization to build 26 homes for homeless and disabled veterans
"It's an honor to be selected as the recipient of the Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler," Cates says. "I've dedicated much of my life to military service, and what Nexen Tire is doing with this vehicle and its campaign is incredibly humbling. It’s an honor for any veteran.
"I believe in creating an environment to help those who want to lead and to this day, I still get phone calls from young soldiers seeking advice and I'm happy to help them in any way possible. I couldn’t be more thankful to Nexen Tire and what they are doing for veterans."
"Some stories have a silver lining and Ken's is no exception," says John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen Tire America Inc. "We wanted to open the Nexen Hero III campaign to all veterans this year and of the thousands of entries, Ken's story of perseverance, his 26-year career and his ongoing commitment to his community really stood out to us the most. Ken continues to help active service members be the best soldiers they can and as the CEO of a local Habitat for Humanity, helps veterans and deserving families find a home. For those reasons and more, we're honored to name Ken the vehicle recipient of the Nexen Hero III Jeep."
"Our continued partnership with Nexen Tire helps our organization continue raising awareness not only for Purple Heart Medal recipients, but veterans like Ken Cates," says Stephen Ruckman, CEO of The Purple Heart Foundation. "Ken Cates and veterans like him deserve to be recognized for their commitment to their communities after serving their country, and programs like the Nexen Hero III campaign set the standard for representing veterans in the best way possible."
Cates joins retired Army Master Sgt. Brian Porter and retired Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz as receipients of the Nexen hero vehicles.
To learn more about Nexen's partnership with the Purple Heart Foundation, visit www.nexentireusa.com/nexenhero.