Ford has a long history of supporting our troops dating back to 1922, when Henry Ford organized a caravan of 50 Model T’s across the country for the Disabled American Veteran’s convention. With Veteran’s Day approaching, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight one story about a true American hero and his fresh-off-the-line Ford.
Army Sergeant First Class Paul Boothe of the 82nd Airborne Division has always been a Mustang enthusiast. The first car he was able to buy on his own was a 1991 Ford Mustang coupe, and he has had one ever since. He owns a 1965 coupe, a 1988 GT, and a 2004 Mach 1.
When Ford learned that Boothe, recently returned from a seven month tour in Afghanistan, had ordered a 2013 Shelby GT500, he was invited to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, where the Mustang is produced, for a tour.
“I jump out of airplanes, rappel out of helicopters, and go to warzones for a living,” said Boothe. “But this was one of the coolest things I have ever had done for me.”
Boothe and his family made their way to Michigan from North Carolina thanks to the American Legion Ford Motor Post 173 and the Ford Veteran’s Network, who chipped in to help pay for travel expenses. Local veterans were on hand to greet Boothe as he arrived. As an added bonus, Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak was able to join the tour.
“It was awesome to be able to go onto the floor and see the Mustang being built up
close and personal,” Boothe said. “I was very happy with the trip up to Dearborn and I appreciate that Ford did this for me.”
To top it all off, Boothe was able to be the first one to start up the engine on his new Shelby GT500 right as it rolled off the assembly line.
To honor the service of veterans like Sergeant Boothe, leave a comment below in the spirit of Veteran’s Day. You can also grab a “U.S. Forces” badge, or share your own story about military service and Ford.