Late last year, Nexen Tire America, Inc., announced former Army Sgt. Ken Cates as the third winner of a 2019 Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler fitted with 37-inch Nexen Roadian MTX Xtreme off-road tires. This was part of the company’s commitment to honoring American heroes through its Nexen Hero II Campaign program.
The program picks up from the last two campaigns which saw Nexen give out two other vehicles to two deserving veterans. The first campaign was dubbed American Muscle for American Heroes. It gave away a Nexen Tire Purple Heart Dodge Challenger to former Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz. The second campaign awarded retired Army Master Sgt. Brian Porter a 2020 Nexen Hero Jeep Gladiator. All recipients hold Purple Heart Medals and all the vehicles came fitted with Nexen tires.
Cates enrolled into the Army Reserves when he was 18. He spent 26 years in the military before joining the Coast Guard. He worked as a land-based and shipboard electronics technician for about four years. He then enlisted into the army and served for another 22 years.
From the very beginning, Cates wanted to set an example by being an exceptional leader just like his father before him. He fought in the Iraq War and received several accolades for his exemplary service. Some of his awards include the Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals, and the Bronze Star Medal.
Despite having retired in August of 2015, Cates did not stop helping others. He is the current CEO of Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity which serves three counties in Temple, Texas. One of his most notable achievements is helping the organization build up to three times the number of homes it put up every year. This is in addition to launching nine other projects surrounding repairs and community revitalization.
These initiatives have changed the lives of more than 30 families within the community. Cates has also been behind the group’s efforts to complete 26 homes for the veteran community. These homes were specifically built for disabled and homeless veterans. Cate also led another 48 projects last year that favored 150 families.
Speaking about his new Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler, Cates said that it was an honor to have been selected as the recipient. He has dedicated most of his life to military services and felt that what Nexen Tire was doing was incredibly humbling. He believes in creating an enabling environment for leaders. Cates mentioned that he still receives calls from younger soldiers looking for advice and he’s always ready to help them.
According to John Hagan, executive VP of sales for Nexen, Ken’s story of determination and perseverance really stood out for them. His continuous commitment to helping out his community after serving more than 26 years in the military is unmatched. Helping active soldiers be their best selves and helping families and veterans find a home were reasons enough to name him the recipient of the Nexen Hero II Jeep.
The partnership between the Purple Heart Foundation and Nexen Tire will continue to see more veterans awarded and honored for their incredible service to the country. All donations made to the foundation will be used to empower them through medical claims, educational scholarships, and much more.