Family of Fallen Soldier Welcomes Home Restored Bronco

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Ford Bronco

Bronco belonged to the father of two boys, who gave his life in Iraq over a decade earlier.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than to receive the news a loved one gave their life on the battlefield. Some will say that this is what they signed up for, but it makes it no less tragic when it happens.

Thus, it is a truly great thing when someone does something to honor the memory of the fallen, and especially for the family of the fallen. Waterloo, Illinois newspaper Republic-Times has one such story, involving a restored 1990 Bronco.

Mertz Ford of the St. Louis suburb of Milstadt, Illinois took on the task of restoring the Bronco belonging to U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Nicholas Walsh, who was killed at the age of 27 by a sniper in Fallujah, Iraq on May 26, 2007.

Following his death, the Bronco sat in the Walshs’ garage for years until it was sent off for restoration by his wife Julie, with help from the dealership, the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation, and local businesses, according to Columbia, Illinois newspaper Monroe County Independent.

Ford Bronco

The goal of the restoration: to give Walsh’s oldest son, Triston, a 16th birthday he’d never forget. Julie, Triston, and his younger brother Tanner arrived at Mertz Ford to a gathering of 100, where the Bronco busted through a brown paper wall to many cheers and tears.

“It just really warms [my] heart that everybody came here so I can give something special back to my boys,” Julie told the Republic-Times. “Their dad’s not here with them anymore, but hopefully this will give a little piece of him back to them.”

“I was just so overwhelmed, so surprised and so happy,” Triston added. He was only four at the time of his father’s death, and had dreamed of one day fixing up and driving his father’s Bronco. Now, he’ll have something to treasure for the rest of his days, all thanks to Mertz Ford and the local community.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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