Nebraska man honors veterans with rolling memorial
CRETE, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man who served in the Army in Vietnam is trying to honor other veterans by collecting their names on his 1946 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery as part of a rolling memorial.
Sam Aughe, of Crete, has gathered 1,300 names since just before Veterans Day 2015. Almost all of the names signed with a black marker are of people who served in the U.S. military, but the vehicle is adorned with the names of a few police officers, firefighters and members of the Mexican Army and Australian Air Force as well. Some people have signed for their loved ones who were killed in action, still are missing or have since died, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The olive green vehicle has a white star on each door and a red, white and blue grill and fenders. Aughe hasn’t placed his own name on the car.
“This isn’t about me,” he said.
Before Aughe was enlisted in the Army as a teenager, he tried to buy the car from the local butcher but had no luck. Aughe wanted to make a career out of the military, until he was injured by his weapon’s recoil during his second year in Vietnam.
“After I got hurt, the Army didn’t want me. And I didn’t want the Army, either,” he said.
After returning to Crete with no hero’s homecoming, Aughe started a family and worked on fixing cars. Two years ago at his old friend’s garage, he ran into the same Chevy he wanted as a teenager.
“I just had it in storage and Sam wanted, and I said, ‘Fine,’ “ Aughe’s friend Fran Siedhoff said.
Since then, veterans and family members of veterans have signed names on the car, sometimes adding where and when they served.
Aughe said he plans to continue driving the Chevy and adding more names until the car runs out of room, eventually giving it to a military museum.