Now in it’s fifth year, WyoTech’s Long Beach campus has teamed up with with the Semper Fi Fund to host an annual Wounded Warrior Car Show. The motivation behind the car show is obviously to honor American Heroes that have have made huge sacrifices as members of our armed services, and as has been the case in the previous five years, the car enthusiasts have turned out in droves to participate.
Southern California’s car culture has a long legacy of supporting the American fighting men and women. Most of their car history dates back to using military surplus bomber seats as racing seats or converting aircraft belly fuel tanks into record setting lake speedsters. Many of the record setting drivers over the past five decades found their passion in speed through military service, so it’s no wonder that SoCal and the United States Military are intertwined as much as they are.
WyoTech’s Long Beach Campus has an equally strong background that involves the military. Many of WyoTech’s students are prior service and using their educational benefits earned during their active duty to further their education in the automotive maintenance field. In many aspects, WyoTech’s involvement in the wounded warrior program is about people with military backgrounds helping those military men and women that have been injured. After five years, the bond between WyoTech and the Wounded Warriors is stronger than ever.
Joining the Marine Corps, going to Iraq and Afghanistan, and serving my country… I would do it all again. – Sgt. Matt Amos
The most recent recipient of WyoTech and the Semper Fi Fund’s efforts is a Marine Sergeant that exceeds anyone’s definition of a hero. Sgt. Matt Amos grew up in Kansas as an avid outdoorsman. “One of the guys in my hometown was very knowledgeable about animals, conservation, and maintaining a good environment for hunting and fishing. He knew a lot about animal diseases, how these diseases were transmitted and how to protect game animals so that hunting and fishing could thrive. I wanted to learn everything I could from him,” explained Amos.
It was his love of the outdoors that brought Amos to the Marine Corps, and it was his love of the outdoors that saw him through his first combat injury. Deployed to Iraq in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a young Lance Corporal Amos was wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on patrol in the village of Zella, Iraq. Amos suffered severe lacerations to his face and extremities, as well as numerous shrapnel wounds throughout his body. He was evacuated and treated for his wounds.
Returning from Iraq, Amos healed up and participated in numerous training exercises in preparation for another deployment. Amos re-enlisted in the Marine Corps in July, 2007, when he accepted orders to Inspector and Instructor (I & I duty) at the 24th Marine Regiment in Kansas City, Missouri. While assigned to the I & I Staff, Sgt Amos enrolled in the Fish and Wildlife program at Oregon State University.
Sgt Amos’ Military Awards
- The Purple Heart with one gold star (in leu of second award)
- The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with combat V and two gold stars (in leu of second and third awards)
- Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star (in leu of second award)
- Navy Unit Commendation Medal
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star (in leu of second award)
While on a dismounted patrol, on 6 June 2011, Sgt Amos was severely wounded after stepping on a pressure plate improvised explosive device, which resulted in the loss of both of his legs, a fractured pelvis, and numerous internal injuries. He was flown to Camp Bastion for immediate treatment, and then taken to Landsthul, Germany for further treatment. From Germany he was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he underwent several surgeries to repair his numerous injuries.
After all major surgeries had been completed; he was transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego and assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion West. In addition to physical therapy and various other programs directed at improving his physical well being, Sgt Amos is also currently enrolled, again, in a distance education program at Oregon State University, where he hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Science.
2012 Jeep Wrangler, Unlimited Modern Warfare 3 Special Edition
The Wounded Warrior Program, with the Semper Fi Fund and help from WyoTech and supporting companies, provided Sgt. Amos with a vehicle fitting an outdoorsman of Amos’ caliber.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler, Modern Warfare 3 Special Edition with major upgrades from ProComp and Magnaflow, was presented to the warrior at WyoTech’s Long Beach Campus during their annual Wounded Warrior Car Show. The best possible recipient of the custom modded Jeep, as Sgt. Amos and his family truly love the outdoors.
Sgt. Amos, his wife Audrie and their daughers Lily and Clara were on hand for the presentation and to take the Jeep for a test drive after the upgrades in body lift, larger tires, enhanced lighting and aftermarket performance exhaust were completed.
“I would not change a thing,” said Amos. “I’d do everything over again. Joining the Marine Corps, going to Iraq and Afghanistan, and serving my country… I would do it all again.”
WyoTech’s Supporting Car Show
The Long Beach campus of WyoTech Technical Institution helps support the Wounded Warrior program by holding an annual car show with proceeds going to the Semper Fi Fund for wounded Troops.
The car show is open to all pre-1974 American cars, trucks and special interest vehicles, however it is limited to the first 300 entries due to space. This year’s show took place on Sunday, August 12, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Turnout for the show was larger than last year, despite the blistering heat which probably was in the three digit range. Car enthusiasts attending the show got a chance to meet and talk with this year’s wounded warrior recipient, Sergeant Matt Amos, and his family as they toured the show looking at the different groups of cars. From rare pre-WWII vintage cars to a whole section of new Dodge Challengers, there was something for everyone to fall in love with.
As for us, we picked three of the most interesting entries as our best of show.
Lloyd Johnson’s 1956 Chevy 210 Sedan
West Covina’s Lloyd Johnson has the ultimate military tribute car. While the sedan is ultra clean and pretty stock, it’s the paint and the detail that set it apart. We’ve never seen an engine this detailed with murals… or as clean.
Johnson’s love of the military is obvious, from the halls of montezuma to the shores of Iraq, this rolling tribute is a must see for anyone that respects the military men and women. We can’t even describe it all so here’s a few pictures of Mr. Johnson’s tribute to the American warriors: