DIAMOND BAR, Calif.—Nexen Tire America Inc. is expanding its outreach to U.S. military veterans, pledging to donate up to $30,000 in matching funds to provide veterans and their families assistance for higher education through the Purple Heart Foundation's scholarship programs.
The monetary commitment is an addition to Nexen's work with its Nexen Hero Program, done in conjunction with the Purple Heart Foundation, in which a deserving veteran is selected to receive a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Since 1995, the Purple Heart Foundation has donated nearly $780,000 for educational scholarship endowments, helping veterans and their families, as well individuals training in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, Veterans Training Program and the Naval Cadet Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Over the last seven years, the Purple Heart Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million to help veterans receive assistance for higher education. The money covers tuition, room and board, books, fees and more.
Donations to the program, to be matched by Nexen, will be accepted through Dec. 3, and should be made by visiting nexentireusa.com/nexenhero.
That is the same website that veterans can be nominated for the Nexen Hero award.
These donations will help empower veterans to achieve their educational goals after returning from the battlefield.
Millions of disability and educational benefits claims are filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs each year, Nexen said, and because of the volume of submissions, some can get delayed for extended periods.
That happened to retired Army Cpt. Greg Galeazzi, who — following in the footsteps of his dad and brother — enlisted in the Army following the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sep. 11, 2001. In the summer of 2010, Galeazzi was deployed to Afghanistan and after the loss of a commander, he took charge of the platoon.
Under his direction, the platoon took no additional causalities until May 26, 2011, when on a dismounted patrol, an IED exploded at Galeazzi's feet, taking off both of his legs and nearly destroying his right arm.
Galeazzi's unit didn't think he would survive the evacuation flight to Germany, but he defied the odds. He was then awarded the Purple Heart Medal before he left Afghanistan.
Although Galeazzi still lives with his combat wounds, he turned to higher education and was accepted to the first school he applied to, Harvard Medical School. Although the VA would pay for his tuition, he still had many out-of-pocket expenses. He applied for a scholarship through the Purple Heart Foundation and received $4,500.
Nominations for the Nexen Hero program will run until Dec. 3. The recipient will be announced live on national TV during the week of Dec. 16.
To be eligible, nominees must be honorably discharged veterans from the U.S. armed services, subject to verification by the nominees' DD-214 form and be willing to consent to a background check.
"We are honored to know these donations will go directly toward helping a well-deserving veteran like Galeazzi earn an education after sacrificing so much for our nation," John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen Tire America, said, "which is why we're committed to matching those donations made during the Nexen Hero III Campaign.
"We believe it is our responsibility to help deserving veterans and we encourage friends, families of veterans, and the veterans themselves to nominate someone to receive the Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and be part of this incredible program."
The recipient of the Nexen Hero Jeep Wrangler Rubicon will be selected by Nexen Tire America representatives, the company said, in collaboration with the Purple Heart Foundation. The winner is based on a variety of factors, including their overall military service and ongoing commitment to their community.