John Fernandez, a U.S. Army veteran wounded in combat, received a new Toyota Highlander donated by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association and the Wounded Warrior Project.
After graduating from West Point and training as an artillery officer, Fernandez was deployed to Iraq in March 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and lost part of both legs after his convoy was struck by a rocket. Fernandez, who is the father of six children, the youngest just 4 months old, lives in Shoreham.
The eight-passenger Highlander is this year’s gift from the GNYADA and Wounded Warrior Project, which donates a vehicle every year to an injured hero, according to a joint statement. Fernandez received the keys from Robert Penn and Chris Penn of Penn Toyota in Greenvale.
“John Fernandez represents the very best of who we are as a nation, displaying selflessness and sacrifice in the face of great danger,” GNYADA Chair Jane Millman, said in the statement. “New York’s franchise new car dealers have a long-standing commitment to veterans, and by providing transportation for the Fernandez family, hopefully the job of juggling family, work, school and other responsibilities is made easier. Thank you to Toyota for once again showing your generosity to our heroes.”