At age 19, Marine Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge was killed by an IED while on patrol just 16 days after he deployed to Afghanistan.
His grieving family decided to pursue his dream to restore a classic Chevy truck. The colorful result a 1951 Chevrolet 3100 pickup with a Fallen Heroes-themed paint job was on display Tuesday in West Valley City to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Fallen Hero's Dream Ride has murals honoring Vinnedge, his family, his military colleagues and those lost on Sept. 11. His parents now travel and display the truck, completed in May, in memory of their son. It's also used to support military charities such as the Marines' Toys for Tots and Snowball Express, according to his family's website at www.fallenherosdreamride.org.
Vinnedge was born in Spokane, Wash., but his family later moved to St. Charles, Mo. He had wanted to join the military since the terrorist attacks, and enlisted in theMarines in September 2009. He deployed with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment to Afghanistan a year later.
He was killed Oct. 13, 2010, as he was driving the lead vehicle on a security patrol across the Sangin Wadi, a dry riverbed, and a large IED was remotely detonated, killing him and three passengers, the family's website said.