Roy Cranmer of Washington is helping to make “Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride” a reality.
Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride was formed after the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge of St. Peters, Mo., who was killed in action in October 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
Vinnedge was a member of the weapons company of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.
Prior to leaving, Vinnedge and his father, Dave Vinnedge, had planned to restore an old Chevy truck. And although he was killed only 16 days after his deployment, his father plans to make their dream come true.
With the help of many businesses and individuals, a 1951 Chevy truck is being restored as a rolling memorial to “build awareness of the sacrifices our fallen military men and women have made, and to encourage support of related not-for-profit organizations,” according to the group’s website.
Cranmer has volunteered his time and talent as a painter at Chris Auffenberg in Washington to help with the truck. He said when he received the call from Phillip Vinnedge’s father asking to help, he could only think of one thing.
“Hell yes. Definitely,” he said.
Since February, Cranmer has been helping on and off with the truck and was responsible for painting the base coat and clear coat on the truck pieces as they came from the artist, who is out of state.
The rolling memorial includes a scene from Afghanistan, the Patriot Guard, the Marine bulldog, a scene of Vinnedge’s tomb at Jefferson Barracks, the Twin Towers, the names of each of the 25 soldiers from his battalion who have been killed, a stairway to heaven and other ornate scenes.
Cranmer is doing his part of the work for free on nights and weekends. Auffenberg has allowed him to use its workspace for the project. He said working on the truck is his way of giving back and thanking soldiers for what they do.
Several weeks ago, Cranmer went to a hockey game with the family, where he said he realized how much impact the truck will have.
“It’s not just making one family heal — it’s helping many families heal,” he said. “The most rewarding part of this is seeing who it’s helping.”
Once the truck is finished it will be used in parades and be displayed, including in Washington.
Cranmer said he doesn’t yet have a day nailed down when the truck will be on display. Details will be released once they are worked out.
The first public unveiling is set for Memorial Day at Six Flags St. Louis.
For more information about Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride, people may visit fallenherosdreamride.org.