Sonya Hamrick drove her shiny, bright blue 1969 Ford Mustang in the Veterans Day Parade on Monday.
Hamrick, of Glasgow, was awarded the custom-built car through “The Road Home” program, which features stories about veterans and the difficulties they have faced upon returning home from their military service.
Shortly before Veterans Day, eBay Motors surprised four veterans who have overcome various challenges with vehicles that were custom-built by West Coast Customs. Hamrick was one of the four veterans to receive a vehicle.
A friend of Hamrick’s told her the Iraq / Afghanistan Veterans Association was looking for veterans to feature in a story, and there was an application she would need to complete. She urged Hamrick to complete the application and send it in.
It wasn’t long before Hamrick was interviewed for the show. Later, a film crew came to her home in Glasgow.
“They spent three to four days with our family and they showed up in this beautiful car,” she said.
During the interview, she was asked what she thought about classic cars and what would be her favorite classic car.
“I described in great detail what you see sitting in the parking lot now,” she said. “I had wanted that car since I was 6 years old.”
Hamrick is retired from the Navy, having served 21 years. She did three tours of duty — Iraq, 2003; Kuwait, 2004; and Iraq, 2005.
“I chose to go,” she said.
The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, spurred her to volunteer for a mission in Iraq. She was already stationed in Mechanicsburg, Pa., but made her way to Camp LeJeune, N.C. where she embarked on her first tour of duty to Iraq.
“The second time I volunteered to go with a unit to Kuwait, and again, I volunteered too with that same surgical company to Iraq in 2005,” she said. “I knew I would have to go, but I actually volunteered to go with the people I went with.”
Hamrick is a hospital corpsman, who, at one time, provided the first line of medical care for the Marines.
Hospital corpsman now serve all military branches, she said.
“We all go in together so we take care of everyone,” Hamrick said. “We’re kind of like a physician’s assistant without the civilian credentials, of course.”
Hamrick is now a college student, attending Western Kentucky University’s Glasgow Campus where she is studying sociology. She plans to pursue a career in politics because she would like to see Glasgow undergo some changes. She plans to run for city council first, and then, eventually, mayor.
“I’m interested in politics, because the Glasgow I left in 1987, I kind of see it as the same Glasgow today,” Hamrick said.
Her story was aired on Sunday on “Inside West Coast Customs” and will be featured on eBay.com’s “The Road Home” program on Nov. 24.
As for her new car, Hamrick said, “It drives wonderful. It drives like the beast it is supposed to be.”
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