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Special Gift Solves Medal of Honor Recipient’s Transportation Problem

John Phillip Baca presented new Toyota truck during the Forgotten Sons Motorcycle Club charity event for the American Soldier Network, in Oceanside

Oceanside CA— The Forgotten Sons Motorcycle Club held a charity event supporting the American Soldier Network in their efforts to raise awareness and prevent soldier and veteran suicide.

The event was their first annual ‘Ride To Live’ with hundreds of veterans from across the country, many on motorcycles, arriving at the Oceanside Elks Club, Saturday, October 29, 2016, for music, food, a live auction, and a special surprise presentation to honor Medal of Honor recipient, John Phillip Baca.

In February of 1970, in an effort to save his team from death and severe injury, he selflessly threw himself on a grenade to shield the blast. “Jumping on the grenade, there was no pain, but I crossed that veil. I didn’t have any lights or anything but I believe we all have that guardian angel with us and I believe mine was holding me that night,” Mr. Baca told the crowd at the event, “My Lieutenant, John Dodson, wouldn’t let me go to sleep. I kept telling him I want to go to sleep, I want to go to sleep. The angels are ready to take me to heaven and my mom is going to be so mad at me for getting myself into such a stupid situation but it wasn’t my time.”

See Johns story in the video below.

In the years since then, Mr. Baca has been working with fellow Vietnam Veteran groups helping them with their post-war lives and  volunteers with Snowball Express.

Snowball Express, presented by American Airlines, gathers families of fallen heroes and honors the supreme sacrifice their families have made. The group serves the children who will never be reunited with their mom or dad. “I am so honored to be a volunteer with Snowball Express for the past eleven years. Brothers and sisters, moms and dads, they never know the story of what happened to their loved ones and I share with them my experience of those dying moments.”

Annie Nelson and John Baca

Annie Nelson and John Baca

Mr. Baca was presented with a brand new, red Toyota Tundra from Toyota USA along with Toyota Financial Services and San Diego area Toyota dealers. “We dialed this thing in for him. Performance exhaust, meaty tires and new rims. This thing is nice,” said Mike, a representative from Toyota USA. They also presented him an extended service contract, pre-paid maintenance and $3,500 in fuel along with a giant banner signed by the workers who built the truck in San Antonio, Texas. The taxes are paid and Mr. Baca received one year of insurance from State Farm for the truck.

Jojo, Mr. Baca’s canine companion, also received a years worth of food and a special set of stairs to make it easier to climb into the truck.

Toyota also presented Annie Nelson, founder of the American Soldier Network with a check for $5,000.00. “American Soldier Network has zero paid staff so all the money raised truly goes back to veterans helping veterans, keeping the dream alive, choosing to live and keeping the positive narrative going, ” said Annie.

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