Nexen Highlights the Bravery of Purple Heart Recipients

July 8, 2019

As part of its Nexen Hero Program and support of the Purple Heart Foundation, Nexen Tire America Inc. is sharing the stories of Purple Heart recipients. This is the second year Nexen has created a promotion to highlight and reward a winner of the Purple Heart award.

Nexen has created video stories with five Purple Heart recipients on its YouTube channel. The stories include that of Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz, who was the recipient of last year's prize: a custom 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T 392 Scat Pack. Diaz was conducting combat operations in Iraq in 2005 when he was severely wounded by an IED explosion which left him with permanent effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and a seizure disorder.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Ruttman suffered shrapnel injuries to his back, neck and head. “I remember feeling a lot of burning in my neck; like my neck and my head were on fire.” He was hit by an IED during a classified mission. 

Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Matthews was on a mission in Iraq. One minute he was driving a Humvee, the next it was four weeks later and he was waking up in a hospital. He remembers a bomb going off, the vehicle spinning, and more bombs. “I got on the radio, screaming and yelling, and began calling out what was going on. The front vehicle [exploded], and then the second vehicle [exploded], and that’s all I remember.”

John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen, says, "One of our primary goals, in addition to giving away a Jeep Gladiator, was to help be a voice for our Purple Heart recipients and what they have done for this nation. These heroes went into harm’s way to defend the very freedom we enjoy as Americans and we are eternally grateful for their sacrifices. We wanted to show our immense gratitude for all Purple Heart recipients’ sacrifices, and a big part of this campaign was to use our voice on multiple media platforms to help bring even more awareness to the stories of valor as told by Purple Heart recipients themselves."

The Nexen Hero nomination period runs from May 15 to July 24 and the recipient will be announced Aug. 7, 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.

Visit this site to nominate a Purple Heart recipient, and to review the official giveaway rules.

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