ST. LOUIS -- A 19-year-old soldier from Missouri whose parents were raised in Connell will be memorialized today when a specially restored 1951 Chevrolet truck is unveiled at Memorial Day activities at Six Flags in St. Louis.
Phillip Vinnedge had been in Afghanistan for 16 days when a roadside bomb exploded Oct. 13, 2010, killing him and three other soldiers. His parents, David and Julie Vinnedge, who now live in Missouri, decided to honor their son by restoring a truck, which is what Vinnedge intended to do once he completed his military service.
The restoration took a year and had many volunteers involved, said his mother, Julie. The crowning touch is extensive air-brushed graphics that details their son's service to his country and other fallen heroes, Julie said.
The truck, which appears at www.fallenherosdreamride.org, will become a mobile mural to be used by Marines Toys for Tots Foundation, the Missouri Military Memorial Foundation and Gold Start Mothers and Patriot Guard Riders.